The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

  • [Open session]

  • [In the presence of the accused]

  • [Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.]

  • Good morning. I'll take appearances, please.

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, opposing counsel. This morning for the Prosecution, Nicholas Koumjian, Mohamed A Bangura, our case manager, Maja Dimitrova and myself Brenda J Hollis.

  • Thank you. Mr Griffiths?

  • Good morning, Madam President, your Honours, counsel opposite. For the Defence today, myself, Courtenay Griffiths, with me Mr Terry Munyard of counsel, Mr Morris Anyah of counsel, also our case manager, Mrs Salla Moilanen, legal assistant Kimberley Punt, our office manager, James Kamara, our legal assistant, Szilvia Csevar and also our intern, Peter Katonene.

  • Do I understand this is Mr Katonene's first appearance in the court?

  • I was told he had appeared before, Madam President, on Monday.

  • I do recall reading the transcript. You're quite right, thank you.

    Ms Hollis, I understand the Prosecution will be addressing.

  • That is correct, Madam President. And making the presentations for the Prosecution this morning will be Mr Bangura and Mr Koumjian.

  • Thank you. Please proceed, Mr Bangura.

  • Thank you, Madam President, your Honours. I will be addressing this Court on the corrected Defence final trial brief, and I will be covering a range of topics, but principally, I'll refer to the paragraphs in that brief, and then we'll discuss the issues that we will be submitting on.

    First I'll refer to paragraphs 809 to 812, and that - those paragraphs deal with the subject of invasion of Sierra Leone, planning of the March 1991 attack on Sierra Leone.

    Defence allege that Prosecution evidence relating to the planning at Voinjama is inconsistent. This evidence is clear and very consistent in the Prosecution's view. And for the following reasons: A protected witness testified on 25 January 2008 that he joined Foday Sankoh, who was in a convoy heading towards Voinjama at night and Sankoh said to him that he would discuss the operational plan for the invasion the next morning. Next morning, the operational plan meeting took place.

  • Mr Bangura, could you give us the TF1-number for this witness.

  • Your Honour, this is a protected witness.

  • TFI number? Oh, okay. I understand. I understand.

  • Thank you. This witness had a meeting, Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor had a meeting with others, together with this witness, the next morning. Another witness, 523 - 532, TF1-532, he testified on 10 March 2008, and he, at pages 5669 to 5674, he states that the - there was a convoy of trucks and vehicles heading for Voinjama and Foday Sankoh was among those in that convoy and they - he was also in the convoy and they arrived at night in Voinjama and this witness said that he met Charles Taylor that same night, and the witness said that Taylor told him that he had a mission for him, another mission for him. And they had a meeting that night, and Taylor explained that he was to go to fight in Sierra Leone. Now, this we submit is not inconsistent at all with what the previous witness said, whose meeting with Taylor and Sankoh was the following morning, after their arrival at Voinjama.

    Another protected witness also testified that - in fact, he is cited by the Defence and his testimony is that he had been sent to Freetown on a reconnaissance mission and, on return, he found that the attack in fact had taken place. Now, the Defence cite this witness as having made - as having given evidence which is inconsistent with those of the other two witnesses that I have already cited. The fact is that this witness was not present at all when the attack took place, he had just returned from Freetown on a reconnaissance mission, and when he arrived, he said that those meetings and the attack itself had taken place already.

    So this witness, the second of the protected witnesses I've just mentioned, he was not present in the convoy and he was not there in Kailahun District when the initial attack took place. He was also not there when the attack took place at Pujehun District. He described the attack as accidental. He said that the attack on Bomaru occurred on the first day of the reconnaissance mission that had been sent there and it just happened that that attack - that incident occurred, and that speeded up the plans for actually attacking Sierra Leone.

  • Mr Bangura, you're referring to an incident. You haven't specified which incident. Is this an incident we've heard evidence of concerning soldiers?

  • This is an incident that occurred at Bomaru, an incident where it is - it was testified in this Court that there was a misunderstanding amongst soldiers from both sides over a deal, and then that sparked off some fighting.

  • I do recall that evidence. Thank you for the clarification.

  • Thank you.

    So, in fact, as a result of that accidental incident, Charles Taylor decided straight away to start the war and not to wait. And so this witness was not there at all. He came back from reconnaissance mission and found that the attack had already taken place.

    Now, what the Defence seek to do is to conflate the issue of strategic plan with that of tactical plan. They say that, in fact, at that meeting, it was not possible to have had planning, to attack Sierra Leone at that meeting, and that did not occur. But the position is that even before they had a meeting in Voinjama, there had been a bigger strategic plan to attack Sierra Leone. The tactical plan was simply to implement that strategic plan and that tactical plan was what was discussed in Voinjama.

    Now, to support this, the testimony of 532, this witness said he met Charles Taylor - this witness said that the plan to attack Pujehun and Liberia, a two-pronged plan, had already been planned from Camp Naama and it was not at a meeting in Voinjama that the plan to attack was made. That means the strategic plan itself had already been laid out right all the way from Naama.

    Next I refer to paragraphs 815 and 818.

  • Mr Bangura, before you move on paragraphs 809 to 812, there are five propositions put by the Defence to support the arguments in paragraph 809. Can you refer us to the evidence relating to those five propositions?

  • Your Honours -

  • The Prosecution - the Defence, excuse me, say if certain things are alleged, then Mr Taylor would have kept the training secret, he would not have provided adequately for the RUF, et cetera. I'm asking if there was evidence adduced to show he tried to keep it secret, he should not provide adequately, et cetera.

  • Your Honour, I'm sorry, to get to the right paragraph -

  • Possibly, the problem is mine. I may have the out-of-date brief. So I will not pursue that.

  • Your Honour, with this evidence that there had been the training at Camp Naama and there is a place called Sokoto where this -- Foday Sankoh and his fighters were trained, and the - this witness, 532, referring to a plan having been made in Camp Naama was obviously referring to that period that the -- Sankoh and his men were in Sokoto. But before that there is also a wider strategic plan that had been laid even before Sokoto, and even before Naama, and there is evidence before this Court that, in fact, as far back as Burkina Faso and Libya, there had been a wider strategic plan to attack Sierra Leone. First Liberia, and then eventually Sierra Leone. So basically what happened in Voinjama was simply a plan to implement that strategic, overarching plan.

    I move to paragraphs 815 and 818. The Defence incorrectly characterise the early skirmish which occurred in Sierra Leone as the timing of the attack. They say that this was an early skirmish, that this was not an unplanned attack, basically, they were saying. The Defence state that there is no evidence that an attack on Sierra Leone in March 1991 was a spontaneous one.

    The evidence before this Court is that this was an accidental attack and as I've already pointed out, this was a trade deal that went wrong and as a result of that, there was this skirmish and at that point in time, the Taylor/Sankoh decided that this was - there was no reason to wait to launch the attack.

    An unnamed witness, a protected witness, supports this and this is a witness who testified on 21st of January 2009. He stated that after the skirmish, it was quickly decided to start the war proper. Also, another protected witness, he is cited - he testified on 20th August 2008, at page 14097 to 102, this witness is cited by the Defence as having said that the attack was not planned, but this is not the case and in fact this is a wrong citation and it's an incorrect representation of the evidence. What this witness said was that, in fact, the two axis attack, that is the one on Kailahun and the one on Pujehun District were already in place by the time they were at Camp Naama.

    Next, I move to paragraph 841, Operation Stop Election. The Defence does not dispute that this operation took place but relying on a protected witness, they again misstate the evidence. They say that this witness's testimony - in this witness's testimony he had said that Foday Sankoh did not give orders to commit atrocities during the operation, but, in fact, what this witness told this Court is that he, in fact, learned about the operation from Base Marine and that - he also told the Court that Foday Sankoh gave instructions to disrupt the elections but he was not aware - and that's the distinction - he was not aware of Foday Sankoh telling people to cut hands. Basically, what the Defence have said is that this witness testified that Foday Sankoh ordered his fighters not to commit these atrocities. That is not the case.

    Also, regarding Operation Stop Elections, paragraph 842, to 843, the Defence state that it was striking, "striking, that Charles Taylor just happened to call". That is when Foday Sankoh was having a meeting, planning the operations to stop the elections, but this is not the case. In fact, there had been ongoing communications between Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor, and it was definitely not striking that such a call came.

    Paragraph - at paragraph 842 of the brief, that is the Defence brief, the witness - sorry, the Defence go on to make the point that, in fact, all of this was not true, the call, the fact that Taylor called Sankoh, but we have a witness who testified on 10th of March 2008, and he was at Zogoda and this is a protected witness - I'm sorry, this is TF1-532, he was at Zogoda when Foday Sankoh called a meeting, sorry, TF1-532 was at Zogoda, but a protected witness said that he was not at Zogoda and he's the one who is cited by the Defence as having said that, in fact, Foday Sankoh did not order the - his fighters to commit these atrocities but this witness said that he was not at Zogoda, he was in the jungle before the plan was discussed.

    And this witness did also not say as alleged by the Defence that this was the first call that Charles Taylor had made since the border was cut off. This witness never said that. As a matter of fact, there had been ongoing communications between Taylor and Sankoh.

    Invasion of Sierra Leone. Paragraph 866. The Defence asserts that Ibrahim Bah had an independent relationship with the RUF predating the Sierra Leone war. They cite TF1-338 at pages 15294 to 95. And they also cite DCT-172, that is the evidence of these witnesses. The paragraph gives other cites regarding Bah's association with the RUF. However, these cites do not show that Bah had an independent association with the RUF, except what DCT-172 testified to and we know that that witness's testimony is extremely unreliable to say the least.

    In regard to 338, who is cited by the Defence, regarding this - the relationship that Bah allegedly had with the - with the RUF, which they say was independent, there is no reference to an independent relationship that they gave.

    Now, the witness TF1-338 said that he knew Bah went back in to negotiate with JPK in Freetown, and that was - went back in to negotiate about arms for the AFRC when the AFRC was in power.

  • Mr Bangura, are you still on paragraph 866 or have you moved on?

  • I'm on paragraph 866. Also, regarding the same paragraph, 866, that is dealing with the alleged independent relationship that the Defence say Ibrahim Bah had with the RUF, a protected witness stated that when - that Foday Sankoh and Bah became friends in Liberia during the Liberian civil war, and that they were both assisting the NPFL, and this witness also goes on to say that during the first half of 1997, Bah told him that he, Bah, was an adviser to the - to Foday Sankoh and that he was also or he had also been one of Charles Taylor's military advisers. So it is not really true that the -- Ibrahim Bah had an independent relationship with the RUF. His relationship with the RUF was based on his relationship with Charles Taylor, which had started long before.

    Also, still on paragraph 866, regarding Bah doubling as a member of the external delegation, that is the Defence make reference to that at page 2438 of this witness's testimony, the witness said that at the time Bah still acted as a liaison for Charles Taylor. This was during the Lome Accord - Lome peace meeting, and the witness further said that at one time Bah left Lome for Monrovia and came back with Memunata Deen. He came back with a sum of $20,000 from Taylor for Sankoh, in fact this was money that, according to this evidence, Taylor - sorry, Sankoh was completely unhappy about. He said it was small money, it was peanuts and compared to diamonds that he had been sending to Charles Taylor.

    I'll move on to arms and ammunition shipments. The Defence, in this area, their evidence mirrors most of the other sections in the brief. What they seek to do is cite certain portions of the evidence in part and then they omit other parts and then they make erroneous conclusions based on only that part which they cite.

    I give an example. In paragraphs 1076 to 1069 [sic], they try to describe the period, that is February 1998 to January 1999 when they say the RUF - the AFRC/RUF, they tried to identify the sources of arms and ammunition shipments to the AFRC/RUF and this is what they give. At paragraph 10 - your Honours, just ask your indulgence a moment, the paragraphs I'm about to quote were from the previous brief and we've had to reconcile them with the new renumbering of paragraphs. The paragraphs I was referring to, by way of example, is paragraph - is paragraph 169 - it's 1069 and it's numbered 1 to 4, the Defence lists as sources of - for arms and ammunition supplied to the RUF - AFRC/RUF as follows: One, overall - stockpiles of arms and ammunition held by the junta government. They said that was one source. Also, arms and ammunition captured from ECOMOG soldiers. They also mention arms and ammunition from countries in the region, and arms and ammunition from Liberia, that the AFRC/RUF junta had acquired through trade with ULIMO. And finally they mention arms came directly from Liberia, which they say was not from Taylor, but from intermediaries.

    Now, these listings of sources obviously does not fully reflect the position in terms of the proper sources of arms and ammunition that the AFRC/RUF had during the - during the period that we are referring to, that is to say, February 1998 to January 1999. A proper and true reflection of the evidence points to the following sources: One, the stockpiles held by the junta government; 2, captured arms and ammunition from ECOMOG soldiers; 3, arms and ammunition from countries in the region, notably Burkina Faso, by the arrangement and coordination of Charles Taylor; 4, stockpiles of arms and ammunition from Monrovia through - from - through intermediaries working under Charles Taylor; and also finally, arms and ammunition that came from ULIMO fighters, through the arrangement and coordination of Charles Taylor.

    Now, if you looked at the sources as listed by the Defence, they clearly and inaccurately present a picture which the redacted. But apart from that, could you refer us to the paragraph in any event of the confidential brief?

  • I was referring to paragraph 1068 to 115. I'll find the particular paragraph where this specific quote falls. I'll come to that in a moment.

  • Just pause, Mr Bangura, while I deal with that application. Have you any comment on this application, Mr Griffiths?

  • Madam President, no.

  • Thank you. We will order that the lines that I've already cited, 9 to 11 of what is page 15 be redacted.

  • Mr Bangura, you proceed whilst Madam Court Manager deals with that particular order.

  • Thank you, your Honour. Your Honour asked a short while ago about the paragraph - Justice Sebutinde asked about which paragraph I was reading this quote from. It's paragraph 1081, 1081. It actually does not fall within the range of paragraphs that I had earlier referred to that I'm dealing with now. I'm sorry, it does, it does. 1081. Because wide ranges - I'm dealing with paragraphs 1068 to 1115. And so this one falls within.

    Now, the cite in that paragraph, perhaps I might just - instead of reading -- I'll read the quote again. "In some accounts, the arms and ammunition were given by Bockarie to - to Bockarie by Taylor. DAF testified that he was told the ammunition came from Monrovia." The brief cites Abu Keita in support of that. "On other accounts, the arms and ammunition came from either Burkina Faso or Libya. That is what DAF stated." Anybody reading this is left with the impression that all of the witnesses underlying these assertions were inconsistent. And the truth is that these assertions are basically mischaracterisations, and to some degree, it affects the overall testimony of - testimonies of these witnesses. I mean the mischaracterisation.

    Now, if we look at just that quote, what we have there, a number of assertions. Assertion 1 -

  • Please proceed, Mr Bangura.

  • If we look at the quote that I just read, it contains a number of assertions. First, the Defence say that in some accounts, that's in quote: "In some accounts, the arms and ammunitions were given to Charles Taylor - to Taylor by Bockarie."

    Actually, in every account of this shipment Taylor was involved and was overseeing provision of the material to Bockarie.

    The second assertion is that DAF testified he was told the ammunition came from Monrovia. But this assertion is really so strange that it deserves some attention. The brief cites Daf as the source of the testimony and then it cites Abu Keita. But Daf actually testified that going on this trip - he testified that going on this trip and he says that the material was originally supposed to be obtained from Libya and that this was changed to Burkina Faso. It is clear that none of the witnesses cited purportedly give different accounts at all.

    The third assertion is that on other accounts, the arms and ammunition came from either Burkina Faso or Libya, and they also cite Daf. Again, this is just a blatant misrepresentation. Daf's testimony is that he never testified as he has already - as we've already seen, Daf never testified as such, and it is clear that the Defence are seeking to invent an inconsistency which does not exist.

    And obviously, they try to achieve this by omitting parts of some of the witnesses' testimony and presenting parts of - parts that would seek to suggest that there is some inconsistency.

    I move to paragraph 1093, also on shipment of arms. The Defence cites the UN panel report, exhibit P-18, in relation to General Diendere, who signed the end user certificate for shipment of arms to Burkina Faso in February 1999. They say that this document demonstrates that the arms shipment could have been obtained independently by the RUF without any support or any assistance by Taylor. But the report, in describing the end user certificate was clearly demonstrating that this certificate and the associated arms were intended actually to be delivered to Taylor, and this is contrary to the Defence assertion. They, basically, are saying that this certificate, the exhibit, points out that the certificate, which shows that the shipment was to Burkina Faso establishes that the RUF could have independently obtained arms without Taylor's support but this is not what this evidence says.

    I move on to radio communications. As a matter of - as a general matter, the Defence brief concerning communication does not refute the overall evidence of the Prosecution concerning the - concerning communications between the accused and the AFRC/RUF during the indictment period. In fact, in particular, the communication links between Taylor's station in Monrovia and Yeaten's compound in the Executive Mansion with Sam Bockarie's station in Buedu are not - evidence regarding that is not affected at all.

    Rather, the Defence picks certain portions of the testimonies of various radio operators and then they assert that these pieces are not credible. Many of these assertions rest upon taking certain evidence out of context, just as I've explained before.

    Paragraph - at paragraph 986, the Defence say that Lansana, TF1-275, CO Nya, testified that, "He did not have the skills to operate the radio system." In fact, the witness did not testify to this. First of all, a prior statement was put to this witness and he never actually was asked whether it was true or not. Furthermore, the prior statement which is referred to is mischaracterised. The actual statement referring to here is a statement dated 16th of January 2007, ERN 00037719.

  • Mr Bangura, you can't be referring to paragraph 986. Could you please check this. I do not seem to see what it is you're referring to in that paragraph. Please do - do refer to the brief that the Court admitted, not to any other document.

  • I take the point. All right. Your Honour, I am informed that, in fact, the paragraph I'm referring to is the correct paragraph in the corrected Defence final trial brief.

  • Because you quoted something, you said the beginning of the quote, the end of the quote, and we are looking for the quote. Refer to the quotes in that paragraph to us.

  • Thank you, your Honour, I get the point. The quote is actually in paragraph 984, 984, and this is about eight lines, line 8 in paragraph 984.

    May I proceed, your Honour?

  • Yes, Mr Bangura, please proceed.

  • I think I had finished with that actually. I move on to paragraph 986, and here the Defence assert that the probationary period for Foday Lansana, that's the same witness I just earlier referred to, relates to absconding from the NPFL and they cite his testimony of the 8th of February 2008, at page 4661, to support this proposition. But when examining the actual transcript for this date, there is no support that the witness said he was on probation for absconding. The witness does speak about probationary period for new operators. The witness just - does speak about probationary period for new operators but the evidence does not support it at all, that he - support the evidence about absconding. This is simply a mischaracterisation.

  • Again, you cannot be referring to paragraph 986. What paragraph are you referring to?

  • Your Honour, it's 984 again, 984, I'm sorry, it's a continuation of the same paragraph that I have dealt with.

    I move on to paragraph 994 but, your Honour, may I just be sure that I'm dealing - these are very late additions to my argument and there is a little bit of a problem confirming. It's just about two paragraphs, actually. 994. Correct. I'm citing the correct paragraph. Paragraph 994.

    The heart of the Prosecution's evidence concerning radio operators was the evidence adduced by seven radio operators, all of which corroborates lines of communication between Taylor and Sam Bockarie in Buedu from February 1998 through December 1999. The Defence brief does not address or refute the Prosecution's evidence on this larger point. Paragraphs 1002 to 1004, and 1008 to 1009 touch on certain details of this time period which largely focus on certain - on some details. In some instances they corroborate some of the evidence. In some other instances they attempt to discredit some of the details provided by the Prosecution's radio operators.

    Command responsibility. I refer to paragraphs 1224 to 1225. Defence argue that Foday Sankoh was an equal to Charles Taylor, not a subordinate as Prosecution evidence shows. They rely on TF1-548's testimony which stated that Charles Taylor, Foday Sankoh and Dr Manneh were three equals, three equal principals, who, before the start of the war, had sat together and - they were just basically three equal principals. The Defence also argue that there is a gap between Charles Taylor being merely subservient to - sorry, Foday Sankoh being merely subservient to Charles Taylor and that they were basically equals.

    The Prosecution refutes this, and the Prosecution provides evidence to support that, in fact, there is sufficient evidence already in the Prosecution trial brief to support the fact that Taylor - Sankoh was subservient.

  • Could you give us the correct reference, please? It's not 1225.

  • Your Honours, I can - I don't know whether it makes sense to - give you the correct -

  • The paragraphs you're referring to talk about meetings and are subheaded other inconsistencies in more general whereas you're being quite specific. So there must be a specific reference.

  • Mr Bangura, I, for one, am trying to put your comments into the Defence brief as we go along, for ease of reference. So it's important that you quote the paragraphs of the Defence brief as accepted by the Trial Chamber correctly.

  • Your Honour, the actual paragraph is 1238, paragraph 1238. It's 1238 to 1239, paragraphs 1238 to 1239. I'm sorry, your Honour, there has been a little bit of confusion about the renumbering of paragraphs.

    Your Honour, regarding this point, the - there is absolutely no aspect of TF1-548's testimony as cited by the Defence that Charles Taylor, Foday Sankoh and Dr Manneh were three equal principals. Basically this is the language of the Defence, that these were three equal principals, there is nothing in the testimony of 548 to suggest this. What this witness says is that at a meeting in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso between Taylor, Sankoh and Dr Manneh, the three agreed that they would assist Taylor to fight his war first in Liberia and then Taylor would in turn assist the others, and the witness goes on to say that this was, "Because at the time we were very powerless." And he continues again, because, "We were people who were powerless at that time in terms of human resources, in terms of money, we were not very powerful."

    Your Honours, this sums up the inequality in the positions between Charles Taylor at the time Foday Sankoh and Dr Manneh, they were definitely not three equal principals.

    Paragraph 1227 was originally 1241. Still 1241. Paragraph 1241. The Defence lay out what they consider to be the primary distinction between the parties in this case. They say that Taylor's involvement or his role in the invasion in Sierra Leone in 1991 - I mean, they basically lay out what they say was basic distinction, the difference between the parties and they state that what is in dispute is the - is the basis of the participation of - alleged participation of Taylor, the timing and to some extent the duration of his participation in the dispute in Sierra Leone, and what they have said is that relying on the testimony of - relying on Taylor's testimony, they say that the Defence - the - Taylor sent Liberians into Sierra Leone and this was only after - it was after the invasion and not before. And that this was pursuant to a mutual defence pact, but the Prosecution - the Prosecution position is that this is not true. They even relied on the testimony of Moses Blah where he says at a point where he meets Charles Taylor - Foday Sankoh after the attack, he calls - he says Foday Sankoh is not a small boy any more, referring to the title that he used to call Foday Sankoh in Libya.

    Now, just the reference to small boy in itself is evidence that at some point in time, Foday Sankoh was in a lower position, a subservient position to Liberians, including Charles Taylor and Moses Blah.

    I move on to a number of distortions in the evidence.

    I'll start with a few and my colleague, Mr Koumjian, will continue with the rest but just one. The Defence - I'm referring to paragraph 808 of the brief. The Defence state that the NPFL trainers at Camp Naama, according to the evidence that the Prosecution led, were Mekunagbe, Anthony Mekunagbe and Oliver Varney, but this is not true. Both Prosecution and Defence witnesses who testified before this Court named at least five Liberian NPFL who were trainers at Camp Naama. Among the names that these witnesses give, we've got PI, we've got Gonkanu, we have got Sam Draper, we have got Sylvester Miller, we have got Patrick Draper [phon] and the Prosecution's final trial brief in paragraph 30, in fact, lays out this evidence. No, it's not definitely true that there were only two Liberian NPFL trainers at Camp Naama.

  • Is that the correct paragraph, 808?

  • It's 808, your Honour, let me confirm that we have 808. It was originally 810. It's still 810. Your Honours, I thank you for the opportunity of addressing you this morning. My colleague, Mr Koumjian will take over.

  • Thank you, Mr Bangura. Please proceed, Mr Koumjian.

  • Thank you. Good morning, Madam President, your Honours and counsel opposite. I want to probably spend most of my time this morning addressing the beginning of the Defence final trial brief. All good advocates, and certainly we believe the Defence team has many good advocates, know that you put your best arguments forward in the beginning because that, especially in a brief as long as this, is where they will get the attention of the Court and the other audience to which they are directed.

    The Defence brief begins by stating that this case, what they call the political context of this case. They say that the Prosecution is politically motivated and the evidence that they cite to that, they rely heavily, in the very beginning of their brief, on an incident in page - excuse me, paragraph 10 of the Defence final brief where they say the Prosecutor at the time had told the United States Congress in 2006 that copies of the indictment against Taylor were given to senior US government officials two months before the indictment was ordered unsealed by the Court in June of 2003. Your Honours know from the Court record in this case, the indictment was signed in March, 7 March, 2003. So two months before June would be April. So the indictment was signed in March and according to what the Prosecutor told the US congress, the indictment was given to the US government in April.

    The Defence then states in the next sentence:

    "Such conduct, the disclosure and transfer of a sealed indictment, without order of court, is prima facie unethical and virtually unheard of by any Prosecutor."

    That, of course, is a very serious allegation, and your Honours will hear from the Defence, after I finish, they will have six hours following this and another two hours later, and I would ask that they explain to you, because there is no footnote, what is their basis for saying that this is prima facie unethical, and I suggest that their statement that this is virtually unheard of simply reflects perhaps an unfamiliarity with how international criminal justice works. An indictment is sealed for a simple reason: In order to prevent the flight of an accused, in order to capture a fugitive. It is not the case that giving a sealed indictment to a government is unheard of. It is standard procedure. All international tribunals, including this one, have no police powers. The tribunals do not have the ability to arrest individuals. In order to effect an arrest, they need the cooperation of governments. So, contrary to what the Defence says, this transferring or notifying governments of sealed indictments has taken place regularly in international criminal law. At the ICTY and the ICTR, for example, in three cases that I personally was involved in, General Momir Talic was arrested when he went to a conference in Vienna by the Austrian government, he was arrested on a sealed indictment. The indictment had been given to the government. Milomir Stakic, another accused, was attempted to be arrested in Prijedor, two people were arrested, Dr Kovacevic, and Simo Drljaca died during an attempted arrest - he shot at the SFOR troops. SFOR, the forces and their governments in Bosnia were given the indictment in order to effect the arrest. Darko Mrdja was arrested by SFOR when governments were given the indictment to effect his arrest. In this Court, the accused that were arrested, Issa Sesay and others, were arrested when the indictment was given to the Government of Sierra Leone, to effect the arrest.

    Now, it's possible that, of course, someone may not have that experience, but the allegation also fails by just looking at the actual orders in this case. So I'd ask if the Court could have on its screen, the filing in this case, from the 7th of March, it's the third filing, 003, the decision approving the indictment and order for non-disclosure. I hope that's on your screens.

    Thank you.

    You see, your Honours, that it's dated the 7th of March. And then looking at the next page, it states that:

    "Being satisfied" - this is signed by Judge Thompson - "being satisfied with the material tendered by the Prosecutor that there is sufficient evidence to provide reasonable grounds for believing that the suspect has committed crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court," et cetera. "Hereby approves the indictment submitted by the Prosecutor against Charles Ghankay Taylor in respect to each and every count."

    And then it states, "Takes note of the Prosecutor's request that an arrest and transfer for detention be issued."

    And then it states, it orders, "pursuant to rule 53 and after consultation with the Prosecutor that there be no public disclosure of the indictment until further order of the Special Court."

    So what is sealed on the indictment is that it cannot be publicly disclosed, but rule 53 of the rules of evidence provides in paragraph B that, "When approving an indictment, the designated judge may, on application of the Prosecutor order that there be no public disclosure of the indictment until it is served on the accused."

    If we look at another order issued the same day, and that is 004, if that could please be put on the screen. When we get away for a few days, I forget the buttons but I'm pushing "evidence". Is that what I should push in courtroom? Thank you.

    So this is the order issued the same day. If we look at it on the first page, we will see just below where it says, the first - please go up again, please, where it says, "Warrant of arrest and order for transfer and detention," it's addressed just below that, to go down, to governments of all states. So, of course to arrest an accused, the Special Court, the judge, when he signs this indictment, is addressing this warrant to governments. The Prosecutor has it within his discretion to disclose this in order to effect the arrest, to governments. It would do no good to anyone to seal an indictment and for the Prosecutor to sit there with an indictment that cannot be effected because no government that has police power could then effect the arrest or put pressure on other governments to effect the arrest.

    If we look -

  • Mr Koumjian, the examples you gave from the bar table, which were verging on evidence from the bar table, referred to governments of countries in which the prospective arrestees were either resident or visiting. Are you saying by implication that the accused in this case was within the control or possible control of senior US government officials?

  • No, your Honour.

  • At the relevant time?

  • Your Honour, that is not the case, that only the governments where accused resides are informed about an arrest, because governments can put pressure on other governments. Governments also can provide information about the whereabouts of the accused. Governments - you also have to have some notice so that if someone then does travel to that country, they can be arrested. They want to know that information. A person doesn't - shows up at an airport if there is a warrant of arrest they need - the government wants to know that. Or a person applying for a visa they need to know if there is a warrant out for that person. So it is the practice in my - in my submission, because I'm responding to a Defence submission that's not footnoted that says that this is unheard of in any - by any Prosecutor, I'm saying that is simply untrue. And it doesn't make sense, practically, given that there is no police power in any international tribunal.

    We see that on the next page of this same document. 004, the filing 004. It says that the judge, Thompson, "hereby orders the Registrar of the Special Court to address this warrant of arrest, decision approving the indictment, the approval of the indictment of the accused and a statement of rights of the accused to the national authorities of such states or to the relevant international body, including INTERPOL, as may be indicated by the Prosecutor, in accordance with rule 56."

    So the Prosecutor disclosing the sealed indictment against Charles Taylor to governments was completely proper and within his powers and in accordance with the order of Judge Thompson. There is no basis for the Defence submission that this indicates some kind of political misconduct by the Prosecutor or interference by a government.

    The Defence goes on to argue, in the beginning of their brief, they discuss the Celibici standard for improper - I'm forgetting the word, for a prosecution that's - where is my mind? Target against an individual improperly. Selective prosecution. Thank you.

    And they indicate that, in this case, Blaise Compaoré and Muammar Gaddafi could have been indicted. Of course, a Prosecutor has an obligation to only indict those that they can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and we welcome the fact that the Defence, from the evidence that's been heard in this case, believes that the involvement of Muammar Gaddafi and Blaise Compaoré has been proven, because as your Honours know, having heard all the evidence, certainly there is evidence that these individuals or the governments that they headed aided the RUF. But that evidence is less than a tenth of the evidence involving Charles Taylor's assistance to the RUF, and the evidence further shows that the great majority of that aid went through Charles Taylor directly. Or directly, for example, through his airport, Roberts International Airport.

    The fact is the Celebici standard for selective prosecution concerns - it has to be established that the persons are similarly situated. Well, we submit that in this case, no one is similarly situated to Charles Taylor in regards to the role he played in the war in Sierra Leone. Others may have aided the RUF. We do not contest that. Our evidence shows that. But uniquely Charles Taylor created the RUF on his territory. Charles Taylor armed the RUF. His forces led the RUF into Sierra Leone, in the invasion of Sierra Leone, in March 1991. It was Charles Taylor who direct - who dealt directly and regularly with Sam Bockarie, Issa Sesay, and other leaders and representatives of the RUF in the early days with Foday Sankoh. The RUF, the evidence shows, overwhelmingly in our view, was a proxy army of Charles Taylor. The RUF didn't fight for Blaise Compaoré. It didn't fight, as far as we know, hopefully not now, for Muammar Gaddafi. But the evidence is overwhelming that Charles Taylor used them, not just in Sierra Leone, he used his proxy RUF army in Liberia to fight against his enemies there; he used them in Guinea, to fight against his enemies and forces in Guinea, to invade that country; he sent them to the Ivory Coast and had them fight for him, Sam Bockarie and others in the Ivory Coast.

    Uniquely, the RUF was a proxy army under one person, Charles Taylor. Charles Taylor held no formal title in the RUF, but witnesses have given various references to names he was called and have basically said he was called and he was considered the godfather of the RUF. This lack of a formal title remind me of recent statements by Muammar Gaddafi where he says I can't resign my authority because I don't have any. I don't have any authority to resign. I don't have a title. The absence of a de jure title does not mean a person does not have de facto control and the evidence in this case shows that the person who is uniquely situated, no one is similarly situated, to Charles Taylor, as the godfather of the RUF, who created them, who armed them, who directed them, and who profited from the wars and the crimes that they committed.

    One interesting statement by the Defence in paragraph 1087 of the corrected brief, I believe, the Defence states in a sentence in that paragraph that the Defence submits that the RUF was able to arrange the supply of arms and ammunition from Burkina Faso completely independently of Taylor. Well, your Honours, we only have to look at a map to question how the Defence - perhaps they can answer this in their oral arguments - how can the RUF, independently of Charles Taylor, deal and obtain arms from Burkina Faso? There is no border between them. Sierra Leone borders two countries, Guinea and Liberia, and Guinea throughout this time period, particularly of the major arms shipments in 1998, in March 1999 from Burkina Faso, we have evidence, including one person who was along on the trip in March 1999 and persons who were waiting for the shipment when Sam Bockarie came back in late November or early December 1998, the only way to get those large arms shipments to the RUF was through Roberts International Airport, Charles Taylor's main airport in Liberia. And that is exactly what was done.

    The Defence also, in its arguments regarding the political context of this case, argues that this case serves US interests, and that it's the United States that's out to get Charles Taylor. But my question is: How does this fit in with Charles Taylor's testimony? There is no question that the United States government and others believe Charles Taylor is dangerous. That's not evidence in this case, it's not relevant to whether he's guilty or not. It doesn't prove he's guilty and it certainly does not prove he's not guilty, but why would the United States be against Charles Taylor given all of his evidence of the friendship and relations he had with the American government, including with the intelligence agencies of the American government?

    Unless, perhaps, the fact is that he was, in truth, destabilising four countries, committing human rights abuses not only in Liberia, but in Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Guinea. It's very interesting that in the Defence brief, the Defence says at one point that Charles Taylor was very reticent to discuss details about his escape from the United States. You will recall that Taylor testified, and this is in the Defence brief, that it was the CIA that was assisted - assisted him in his escape. Although Taylor's details don't add up, because he told us in July, when he first testified, that he remembered distinctly that Quiwonkpa was killed just two days, I believe he said two or three days, after his escape when he briefly went to New York before travelling on to eventually to Mexico and then to Africa. That's what he said in July. And the Defence brief, in footnote 614 - and I hope I have it from the current version - says that, "Contrary to what the Prosecution alleged, Taylor maintained that he did not escape prison in September 1985 but in November 1985 as he was still in the United States when Quiwonkpa was executed."

    Actually that is what he said on direct, but the Defence apparently has forgotten what Mr Taylor said on cross-examination. Between the direct and cross-examinations of course, certain documents that the Prosecution was prepared to use in cross-examination were disclosed to Mr Taylor. So after the disclosures, on the 11th of January 2010, page 33127, Mr Taylor, and it goes on to 128, Mr Taylor was asked:

    "Now, Mr Taylor, do you accept that two months from the time of your escape to travel to Africa," excuse me, "do you accept then that you had two months from the time of your escape to travel to Africa to take part in the coup? Do you accept that?"

    And Mr Taylor said, "Well, not exactly two months but I had some time. I think the escape occurred, if I recall, in September."

    And the coup occurred in November.

    So my question is - and perhaps the Defence can answer this - why is Mr Taylor, if he believes the CIA is out to get him and the United States government, reticent to tell the truth to this Court about his escape? Who is he protecting, or is this entire story fabricated?

    Now, clearly, the dates of his escape was fabricated by Mr Taylor. He didn't escape in November. And the question arises in my mind, did he do that because Mr Taylor had informed people about the plan, the Quiwonkpa coup? He told us he knew about it and he knew the coup was doomed, he himself wanted to avoid being torn to pieces on the streets as General Quiwonkpa was. Is that the case or is it simply the case that he didn't want to be there at the front line? Because Charles Taylor has told us he never goes to the front line. In fact, the evidence shows even with the invasion of Liberia, he sent forces over the border, Mr Taylor couldn't get the date right until his counsel gave it to him over and over again, but in 1989, in December when he sent his forces over the border he wasn't with them, and did not enter Liberia, he says, and the evidence corroborates this from other witnesses, for four months, until April.

    And we also know that when there was what is believed to be, or Mr Taylor characterises as, an attempted assassination, where one of his aids, Mr Jackson, was killed at the Executive Mansion on 30 October 1996 when Taylor was part of the Council of State, he immediately went back to Gbarnga, retreated to Gbarnga, and that was the testimony of his own witness, Yanks Smythe.

    The next major area that the Defence addresses in its motion - in its final trial brief is to complain about evidence that was admitted in this case outside of the temporal or geographic scope of the indictment. Your Honours, so basically the Defence is asking the Court now, in 2011, to exclude evidence that came in over the last three years in this trial and I would point out that logically, obviously, this is in one of two situations. Either the Defence objected and that objection was overruled, in which case the Defence is now asking for - during the final arguments or final trial brief, for the Court to reconsider its decisions, or the Defence did not object, and, in fact, that, of course, is the case in the great majority of the evidence because there were very few objections from the Defence about evidence being outside the scope of the indictment.

    So in that case, legally, they have waived it, because we are being asked, the Prosecution, to respond to very specific issues, very specific evidence, and they haven't identified what exactly the evidence is that they are seeking to have suppressed now, three years later.

    Certainly, evidence was admitted in this case because it was relevant and it was relevant for a whole host of reasons, evidence that was outside of the indictment. One of those the Defence talks about, which is pattern evidence, but the rules do not limit relevant evidence only to pattern evidence. For example, the evidence all about Camp Naama, the creation of the RUF, this evidence clearly shows why Charles Taylor is the godfather of the RUF. It shows why he still had control of the RUF at the time period of the indictment. He was its creator. The evidence also is important about how the NPFL acted and how the RUF was created with NPFL trainers and NPFL territory and in an NPFL training camp, because what we have argued consistently is that the RUF was made in the image of the NPFL. Taylor was the godfather. It even borrowed the terminologies of the NPFL such as both the use of child soldiers and even the term that the NPFL used for child soldiers, small boys' units.

    And on that same issue, that also, of course, would be relevant now for credibility because Charles Taylor made the laughable claim to your Honours that no one under 17 was allowed into the NPFL, despite all the evidence including from his own witnesses and his own documents about the notorious use of child soldiers in Liberia.

    We put on evidence of killings of certain individuals outside of the geographic scope of the indictment because they were efforts by Charles Taylor, they clearly show his efforts to suppress the evidence of his role and control of the RUF and role in the crimes. So the killings of Sam Bockarie and Jungle, Daniel Tamba, Superman and Johnny Paul are all clearly relevant to Charles Taylor's consciousness of guilt. And other attempts to suppress evidence even in Liberia such as the arrest of Sorious Samura, the killing of Sam Bockarie's girlfriend, that TF1-539 talked about who they feared would reveal Taylor's link to the RUF and the arrest of Hassan Bility after his trips and articles about Sierra Leone and trip to Sierra Leone.

    Also, the Defence, I believe, does not concede that Charles Taylor had the intent to create terror in Sierra Leone. So we, the Prosecution, put on evidence, some of it from Liberia, about Charles Taylor's intent. One very probative piece of evidence about that was how Charles Taylor treated TF1-590, the Sierra Leone man who was a refugee in Liberia and came here and talked about his horrendous experiences in Liberia where he watched his friend's head being cut off with a knife, and how he was tortured by Charles Taylor's son and the demon forces. And he talked to you, this man, that he was accused by Charles Taylor, he was brought to Charles Taylor himself, he was brought naked, tie-bayed [phon] after being tortured, to Charles Taylor who accused him of being a Kamajor and threatened to have him killed.

    So is it any surprise to anyone that Charles Taylor intended that Sierra Leonean civilians be treated the way the RUF treated them? He treated TF1-590 exactly consistent with what the RUF did, consistent with how Sam Bockarie, for example, treated people during the Kailahun massacre. They might be against us, these civilians, so let's kill them.

    Charles Taylor revealed his intent in his treatment of TF1-590.

    The Defence also complains about evidence about crimes that are outside of locations named in the indictment, but, recall, first of all, the Defence has not, up to today, conceded or stipulated that there was a widespread and systematic attack on civilians in Sierra Leone which is a chapeau element of many of the charges in this case. Furthermore, and perhaps the Defence can clarify this in their arguments, to date, as far as we know, the Defence is still denying that the RUF was on a campaign of terror, dispute all the evidence of hands being chopped off, heads being put on sticks, children, one child whose hands were chopped off and thrown in the sewer, women being raped and gang-raped, women having to hear their children killed and having to carry the heads of the children in bags. Despite all that, the Defence, as we understand it, does not concede that there was a campaign of terror, and the Defence argues that the RUF was a legitimate revolutionary organisation. They place great reliance on two documents. First, Footpaths to Democracy. It's in evidence and your Honours know it's a propaganda tract and we learned through the evidence that it was put together with the help of Ade Sebo, Charles Taylor's former friend and publicist. And that Charles Taylor congratulated the RUF on its publication and gave them money, 50 million CFA, after the publication of Footpaths to Democracy. The Defence also has placed great reliance on saying, Oh, there could be no campaign of terror because Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor and the Gambians, Koukoie Samba Sanyang, were all trained together in Libya under the guidance of Muammar Gaddafi. This was so important, if you recall, there was a document that the Defence read into evidence which was a speech of about 27 pages by Muammar Gaddafi, even though the Prosecution was willing to stipulate that it come into evidence, it was so important to the Defence that they chose to read it, word for word, into the record.

    Well, perhaps there is one thing we can agree on with the Defence. We would agree that Charles Taylor as likely to use terror against civilians as Muammar Gaddafi. That, we believe, is established. We believe both of them would use terror. Charles Taylor consistently used terror when it was to his benefit to preserve his power or to enrich himself.

    The other person that the Defence put on evidence about were the first two witnesses after Taylor were Gambians trained in Libya and they were both members of a group led by Dr Manneh, Koukoie Samba Sanyang, but what did we learn about Dr Manneh? We learned, even from the first of these witnesses, Yanks Smythe, in his own little coup, what he did is he took the wife and children of the President of Gambia, Jawara, hostage and threatened them. So, if that is not an act of terrorism, what is? This is the kind of ideology, the real practice, despite what might be put into the green book or might be put into Footpaths to Democracy, what speaks much louder to all of the foot soldiers is what they see their leaders actually do. So Issa Sesay may say, for example, the RUF was against rape, but we know he raped Johnny Paul Koroma's wife. And Dr Koukoie Samba Sanyang takes children hostage and threatens the lives of children in order to get what he wants.

    The very training at Camp Naama about treating civilians well, well, the people who were being trained we heard from many of them, many of them were Defence witnesses, they told us they were there as hostages. They had been - most of them. Issa Sesay says he was tricked and he was forced to stay in Naama because he was told someone tried to escape and he was killed. Someone escaped while they were at Cuttington University in NPFL territory and he was killed. And we heard from Sam Kolleh about how he was captured and forced to go to Camp Naama.

    We heard from DCT-292 how he was captured with others, I believe an individual was killed, they were threatened with death and they were basically told you have a choice of dying or going with Foday Sankoh, and so he went with Foday Sankoh. So despite whatever ideology or words might have been mouthed to the recruits at Naama, what undoubtedly influenced their behaviour much more was the reality of how they themselves, originally civilians, were treated. And there is evidence that, in fact, a former NPFL officer, Isaac Mongor, who Defence witnesses Isatu Kallon and John Vincent confirmed was NPFL, although other Defence witnesses tried to deny that, Isaac Mongor taught the recruits the NPFL way. When you go into a village kill a group of civilians, that way the rest of them will obey you.

    The next area that the Defence brief addresses, and they address it in length, is the joint criminal enterprise pleading of the indictment and case summary. These, as your Honours know, are issues that have already been decided, the pleading of the joint criminal enterprise. The Defence lost the decision in the trial before your Honours, at the Trial Chamber level, they were allowed to appeal it and they lost the decision in the Appeals Chamber so why now, in the final brief, in the beginning of their brief, does the Defence need to revisit this issue? We submit it's because the evidence is so clear that this joint criminal enterprise took place, because the evidence, factual evidence, that Charles Taylor worked together with the RUF and contributed to a campaign of terror against the civilian population of Sierra Leone is so strong that the Defence wants to try to argue the law, even though it's already been decided. It's old lawyers' saying if the facts are against you, argue the law. The facts of the joint criminal enterprise are overwhelmingly against the Defence so they argue about two decisions that were already decided, they complain that the decision took - was late in coming. They don't take responsibility for the fact that the motion was filed, I believe it was 14th of December, the last day before the judicial recess when right after the recess the first witness was scheduled to testify, as the Defence correctly points out, motions on the form of the indictment should be made at an early point.

    But anyway, their complaint about the late decision does not make sense when the decision of both the Trial Chamber and the Appeal Chamber was that the indictment, the long-existing indictment, correctly pled a joint criminal enterprise in which the means used to obtain the objectives was a crime within the statute and jurisdiction of the Court and that is the crime of terrorism. That was the decision both by the Trial Chamber and by the Appeals Chamber, that the indictment pled that, that the Defence had been properly put on notice by the indictment. So it doesn't make sense to say, Oh, we just found out late that we were - that the indictment told us what the means of the joint criminal enterprise were. It was written in the indictment. This is already been decided by both your Honours, the Trial Chamber, and the Appeal chamber, and in this Trial Chamber of course there was a dissent by Justice Lussick. Even Justice Lussick's dissent though stated that he would have ordered the indictment rewritten but he noted that, in fact, the Defence was on notice. The Defence was on notice because the use of a campaign of terror to obtain the objectives of the joint criminal enterprise was clearly laid out. It was laid out in the case summary which was filed, basically, approximately the day that this team took over for the Defence, I think it was the 2nd of August, early August, in paragraph 42, where it discusses a common plan design or purpose to carry out a criminal campaign of terror as charged in the indictment. And the international case law is clear that these terms "common plan," "common design," "common purpose" and "joint criminal enterprise" are interchangeable. The Defence correctly points out that there is some decisions that say it's preferable now to use the term "joint criminal enterprise," but those decisions say it's preferable. There is no other meaning to the terms "common plan," "common design," "common purpose" and "joint criminal enterprise". In the original Tadic decision you'll see that the terms are just used interchangeably.

    Also, in the pre-trial brief, paragraph 28 - at paragraph 7, it's stated that the common plan amounted to or involved the commission of crimes. These criminal means involved the campaign of terror waged against the civilian population of Sierra Leone. And also, in the opening statement, in June 2007, as your Honours know, six, seven months before the evidence actually began, the testimony began, the Prosecutor said from its inception, page 31, I'm not sure of the transcript page number, Prosecutor said:

    "From its inception the accused and other participants in the common plan used criminal means to achieve and hold political power and physical control of the - over the civilian population of Sierra Leone. These criminal means involved the campaign of terror waged against the population of Sierra Leone."

    Those are the arguments at the beginning of the Defence brief, but the Defence brief of course goes on. One of the arguments that's made in depth during the brief, and made early and in depth, is that Charles Taylor was a peacemaker. We know this is the Defence - has been the Defence argument and was the focus of much of his direct examination. Well, of course, the Prosecution in its own evidence had talked about how Charles Taylor was a false peacemaker. How he advised for example, Foday Sankoh, to use the Abidjan Accord to re-arm, about how, when he met with various heads of state and Issa Sesay, after saying one thing publicly in front of the other heads of state, he told Issa Sesay in private, "Don't listen to them. Those are all British-controlled people." How the evidence was put on through many witnesses about how Charles Taylor urged Foday Sankoh - Issa Sesay not to disarm, instructed him not to disarm, was upset when he did disarm. Witnesses like TF1-375, 399, many other witnesses talk about Taylor urging that the RUF use Lome, which of course benefited Charles Taylor, because it left the RUF in control of the diamond regions of Sierra Leone, but that they not disarm.

    The Defence talks about the documents that they have that show that Charles Taylor was a peacemaker. Well, there is no question that Charles Taylor tried to portray himself publicly as a peacemaker. Justice Doherty asked a question about the Defence brief, one of those was why, in the Defence brief they say, why did they keep the training at Naama secret? Because Charles Taylor throughout has tried to deny his link to his surrogate army, the RUF. He's tried to portray it as an independent force. He's tried to hide his links by, if necessary, killing people, arresting journalists, whatever was necessary.

    And when it comes to Charles Taylor's documents, what is so probative, what is so overwhelming is what is not in there. Because, and we have said this in our final trial brief, we also put it to Charles Taylor during his testimony. Taylor has admitted to meeting Sam Bockarie three occasions, I believe on three trips, in September, October and late November 1998. This time period, as the RUF was building up for the major offensive in December of 1998 including meeting Sam Bockarie on his way to Burkina Faso, that the evidence shows, and the Defence concedes this in some parts of their brief, he came back with war materials from that. That was the war material that allowed the RUF to launch the December offensive. Issa Sesay says that they were out of ammunition until Bockarie came back from Liberia. That's the ammunition he used to attack Kono and thanks to it, he also captured in Kono, allowed him to go on to Makeni all the way down to Waterloo.

    So Charles Taylor claims repeatedly that these three meetings -- actually there were more than three because at least in September he met twice, I believe in September and October he says he met him twice, that these were open, that everyone knew about it. But Sam Bockarie was on the United Nations travel ban as a member of the junta, and that had been passed in 1997. There is no exemption from the UN travel ban for Sam Bockarie to travel to see Charles Taylor or to go to Burkina Faso. It doesn't exist. We can't produce it because it doesn't exist and the Defence has not produced it, although they said they had access to UN documents, not only those from Downes-Thomas but there was testimony that they received others from the United Nations, that their investigators received them.

    Furthermore, in these meetings with Sam Bockarie, we've asked, where is there any document about these meetings? Aside from the UN travel exemption, where there is a correspondence with President Kabbah or with ECOWAS, with the Committee of Five? Where is there some report to someone that I'm going to meet Sam Bockarie or I met Sam Bockarie? If you meet somebody and you're acting as a mediator it doesn't do much good unless you communicate that position to somebody else. There is not a single letter, not a single communication. There's not even an internal document that the Defence has. Well, they have the next two or three days to produce one, if they have one. They don't. There is not a single document that shows that Charles Taylor met with Sam Bockarie in September, October or November 1998. There is not a photograph. The presidential papers is full of all the activities of Charles Taylor. We have in there for example documented his meeting with Sepp Blatter. We have there documented his meeting with Naomi Campbell in South Africa, but we don't have any mention of his meetings with Sam Bockarie. Why is that? That's because these were meetings planning war. They were clandestine meetings where Charles Taylor was meeting his commander of his proxy army, planning the attacks on Sierra Leone. That's why there is not a single photograph, press release, internal aide-memoire, correspondence to ECOWAS, to the United Nations, to President Kabbah, to anyone, a UN travel exemption, about any of these multiple meetings with Sam Bockarie. Because they were clandestine meetings, and as Prosecution evidence showed, they were about supplying the RUF with the ammunition and the plan to attack Kono and go on to Freetown. That's why the Defence doesn't have a single document about those meetings.

    If we could look at some documents that are in evidence, and that would be at the presidential papers, D-141, if we could go to page 298, please. This is a joint communique of a meeting hosted by the chairman of ECOWAS, and the Head of State of Nigeria, attended by President Kabbah and Taylor, on 2 July 1998. Looking at paragraph 3, it says, "The heads of state, they strongly condemned rebel activities in Sierra Leone as well as the horrendous atrocities that had been committed there."

    So here there is nothing in here about Charles Taylor should meet with these rebels that were committing these horrendous atrocities, this is in July of 1998.

    Now let's look at page 293 of the same presidential papers. This is very interesting because it is a policy statement. As it's coming up, I'll begin reading the heading, "Policy statement by the government of the Republic of Liberia on allegations against Liberia for involvement in the Sierra Leone crisis." And it's dated the 29th of December 1998.

    So we know this is in the midst of the rebel offensive just on the eve, a week before, the invasion of Freetown, after the fall of Kono, after the fall of Makeni, Lunsar, and several other locations, Magburaka. If we look at that, and if you go through the entire document, there is nothing in here about Sam - about Charles Taylor meeting with the RUF, Sam Bockarie or any representatives of the RUF. If you go to paragraph 10, page 293, it states, "Actions taken by the Government of Liberia. Maintained an open line of contact and direct dialogue" - page 293, please, sorry, and then if you go to the bottom left, thank you. The Government of Liberia writes that they maintained an open line of contact and direct dialogue with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah aimed at building confidence between Liberia and Sierra Leone. And then the next paragraph - they say they dispatched four high level presidential delegations to Freetown to hold talks with Kabbah and Sierra Leone. The next paragraph 12, hosted Kabbah in Monrovia.

    Where is there anything about meeting Sam Bockarie? These are supposed to be the activities of Liberia to solve the crisis in Sierra Leone. And it talks about meeting with the Government of Sierra Leone, but nothing about meeting with the RUF.

    So perhaps the Defence can - in their closing arguments - explain why there is not a single document that shows Charles Taylor met in September, October and November of 1998 with Sam Bockarie, because the answer, the only logical conclusion is, it was clandestine meetings to plan war.

    Charles Taylor's role - I think I better skip ahead because I'm running out of time.

    I'll mention a few things quickly. If we could have D-104B, please, put on the screen - sorry, P-28 put on the screen. Excuse me, sorry, let me stick to the original order, D-7. This is a document the Defence brief, in paragraph 1287, and elsewhere, places great emphasis on and this is the letter from Tiagen Wantee, the ambassador to Guinea, saying that reporting a meeting with Eddie Kanneh at the Liberian embassy there. The Defence brief, paragraph 1287, says, "Sam Bockarie would not have gone to the trouble of sending Eddie Kanneh to the Liberian embassy to try to establish contact with the Liberian government as exhibit D-7 clearly shows."

    By the way, one slight aside, in paragraph 522 of the original brief, now it's 520, it included this rather bizarre statement which apparently has been taken out. The original brief, and it is a substantive change, in paragraph 522, they had said, they said, "Kanneh, having eaten human liver with the President... "

    There is no evidence from any witness, Prosecution or Defence, that Eddie Kanneh ate human liver with the President.

    Going back to D-7, this is a document the Defence tries desperately to twist the plain meaning of, because what the document does show in fact is that Sam Bockarie was known to Charles Taylor prior to August 12th, 1998, consistent with the Prosecution evidence. And not that he was sending Eddie Kanneh all the way to Conakry to try to make contact with Charles Taylor. That makes no sense. If you go down the list of the names, the last paragraph, thank you, it says:

    "Meanwhile Major Kanneh, who remains a strong advocate of the RUF, reiterated his plan of travelling to Liberia, along with six other members of his organisation and would cross into Sierra Leone to join their men after meeting with the leader. And he named Sidiki Janneh, Brigadier Mosquito, both Sierra Leone nationals, including Mr Sherif, assistant director of the SSS."

    Well, we submit that it's very likely that Sidiki Janneh is actually Sidiki Kanneh [phon]. If you look at the testimony of Varmuyan Sherif from 9 January, page 817, Varmuyan Sherif said one of his orderlies was Sidiki Kanneh.

    So what this - clearly, what this paragraph is saying is that Eddie Kanneh is coming with six people and he's giving references of people who can tell Charles Taylor, people Taylor knows, that can tell Charles Taylor, this guy is all right, he's one of us. And who are those people? Well, it's Varmuyan Sherif, the assistant director of the SSS and his assistant, Sidiki Kanneh and it's Sam Bockarie. Sam Bockarie clearly is not one of the six people who is travelling; Sam Bockarie is one of the references to Charles Taylor to vouch for Eddie Kanneh. So the only reasonable explanation in the reading of this document, it supports that prior to August of 1998, as Varmuyan Sherif and other witnesses testified, Charles Taylor already had made contact with Sam Bockarie, and the Defence attempt to read it as saying that Sam Bockarie was trying to make contact, makes absolutely no sense. Perhaps the Defence can explain why would you send someone through Guinea, where Isatu Kallon and others had been arrested, to the embassy in Conakry, sn enemy capital, Guinea, when the evidence from the Defence is that the RUF travelled freely to Monrovia when they wanted to. Issa Sesay says in April he went there with diamonds and stayed a week, and when he lost the diamonds, Sam Bockarie sent someone else to investigate. Issa Sesay and others, Sam Vincent said Jungle travelled back and forth from Monrovia, Sesay says to get rice and medicine, Sam Vincent said bringing ammunition. DCT-008 says Jungle used to travel back and forth from Monrovia. We also know that the RUF has contacts in the Ivory Coast with Musa Cisse. They have a radio, they can contact Monrovia by radio, with or without a code, you can speak on the radio. They knew people in Lofa County, they could just cross Lofa County and speak to the NPFL. So what possible sense would it make to send a delegation through Guinea, through Conakry, to try to make contact with Charles Taylor when the RUF, repeatedly we've seen, can drive across the border to the capital of Monrovia. It makes absolutely no sense.

    In the minute that I have left could I show P-28 again, please?

    One thing the Defence tries to make out, quotes Issa Sesay, if we go down the page, Issa Sesay trying to deny his signature, if you recall on direct, he was shown this by counsel and he said, This is not the way I sign. However, when he was given a little test with the various signatures on a piece of paper he recognised this as his signature. And then he said, Well, maybe it was forged. But he said different than what he said before, that it was not the way he signed. This is his signature. Benjamin Yeaten's signature also appears. Remember, Issa Sesay tried to say the RUF doesn't give written orders. Well, this is not an RUF document. This is a document from Benjamin Yeaten, he's the commander when the RUF is in Lofa. It's an NPFL AFL document and if you look down, we see the signature of Benjamin Yeaten, just keep that in your mind and now if we can show the back of Yanks Smythe's ID card, that's D-104B. What your Honours will see is it's exactly the same signature. This document Issa Sesay and the Defence have tried desperately to deny, because it's so clearly shows what the Prosecution case, through all of its evidence has shown, that from its creation in Naama, up through fighting in Guinea and Lofa County, the RUF was just an extension of Charles Taylor's armies, it was one of his militias, it was his proxy force. He was the true commander. And it was Charles Taylor who directed the campaign of terror against the civilian population of Sierra Leone. Thank you.

  • Thank you, Mr Koumjian. As it's now 11 o'clock, we will adjourn and resume at 11.30. Please adjourn the Court to 11.30.

  • [Recess taken at 11.01 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.31 a.m.]

  • Mr Griffiths, please proceed.

  • Can I first of all announce a change in representation, please, Madam President? Mr Munyard and Ms Kimberley Punt are no longer with us and we've been joined by our two legal assistants, Michael Hertz and Kathryn Hovington. Your Honours --

  • It's Mr Chekera I see beside you.

  • Also Mr Chekera. I think he's so close, I missed him. Now, bearing in mind the orders made by your Honours on Monday, we have divided our address into the following sections. I will address you today and at this point in time, I'm unsure as to how long I will be. Mr Munyard will address you tomorrow. And Friday's presentation will be taken by Mr Anyah. Now, may I start with an apology? I apologise to Madam case manager for not providing her with an electronic list of exhibits to be used in my closing address. It is entirely my fault, in part because of certain travel difficulties in getting here for today's hearing, but I think the difficulty has now been addressed and we are ready to proceed.

    Now, I don't know how your Honours would like me to proceed. I would much prefer that our address to the Court is interactive. We bear in mind the volume of material to be assessed, so consequently we may not always be in a position to provide an immediate answer, but nonetheless, we prefer that we, in effect, have a discussion, so that any issue as to our case or your perception of the Prosecution case can be discussed before your final decision. We want to avoid a state of bewilderment. If you, the judges, make a decision or a finding of fact which we cannot understand, and thus are unable to explain to our client, consequently, if at any stage your Honours have a question, please feel free to interrupt. We, the Defence, think we can be of greater service to your Honours if we adopt this course.

    So may it please your Honours, we adopt the observation made by the Appeals Chamber in our most recent appeal, that the purpose of oral submissions is to highlight important aspects of the Defence case. That we will seek to do. In particular, I will seek to focus on what we say are some of the most important documents produced in this case, and we say the vast majority of the most important documents were overwhelmingly produced by the Defence.

    Now, Charles Taylor is the first-ever African leader to be put on trial. His trial has been trumpeted by the Prosecution as demonstrating an end to impunity. We agree. Indeed, his trial is of importance to Africa and this evolving concept of international justice, to which we are, as a Defence, unswervingly committed. Yet we note that currently, everyone being tried or awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court are from, guess where, Africa. We are disturbed by this. We are disturbed by that fact but nonetheless maintain our commitment to this concept of international justice, because we are anxious to play our part in establishing such a system, which maintains, which should be its starting point, that whether you are princess or prostitute, whether you are the President of the United States or the President of Liberia, the law is above you. That should be the guiding principle. That is the essence, we submit, of the rule of law. Whether that, however, currently is the case is a matter of debate. Yet, interestingly, despite the importance of this trial, the fact is that no one took any notice of it until a supermodel, with her agent, and the Hollywood actress turned up at this Court and the minute they departed, we returned to obscurity.

    And we note that it is when the public at large are kept uninformed and in the dark, that an accused's rights can sometimes be put out. Because we submit that it's important for the public that they should be in a position to follow these proceedings, particularly the people in Africa. For, if indeed the Taylor trial is to set an important precedent, then it was important that he be prosecuted fairly and transparently, as promised by Stephen Rapp when he opened the Prosecution case as long ago as the 4th of June 2007, and I quote, "The Prosecution will seek at all times to ensure that it embodies the fundamental principles of fairness, due process and justice."

    We submit that it's to the shame of this Prosecution that it has besmirched the lofty ideals of international criminal law by turning this case into a 21st century form of neocolonialism, and I'm not apologising for saying that. For this Prosecution has been selective. This was a court, ostensibly and publicly, set up, we are told, to try those who bear the greatest responsibility. So why is Colonel Muammar Gaddafi not in the dock? Have you not heard of the recent utterances from David Crane? Have you not heard that this Court would have been refused funding by the British government had they attempted to indict Gaddafi because the then British government led by Tony Blair were anxious to pursue their economic interests in that country? Have you not heard that? What about Blaise Compaore? What about Tejan Kabbah, the defence minister who allowed his deputy to carry the can and end his days in custody?

    Now, way back in mid-2002, Charles Taylor gave an interview to New African magazine. This was before he would have known that an indictment would be unveiled against him, so it cannot credibly be claimed that he was then seeking to establish a defence.

    So what he had to say to them was said without a criminal prosecution in mind. Could I ask Madam Court Manager to put up, please, the document which we have behind divider one in our bundle, exhibit D-334? Now, in this interview with Charles Taylor, and you will see from the bottom of the page, it's dated July/August 2002, he said this: "Liberia's President," and I'm looking at the first page of the interview, "Charles Taylor, is sure that quote unquote, 'some powerful countries' are out to get him. But he does not want to name them. 'Because they punish you the more if you do.' Yet the names are all over in the streets of Liberia, the USA and Britain. One freelance photographer told me letting the name roll off his tongue like sweet apple" -- can we go over the page?

  • Please, can you shift the exhibit so we can read what counsel is referring to?

  • Can I inquire whether the problem has been solved, your Honour?

  • No. We've lost the document altogether.

  • What we are interested in is not the photo but the text.

  • It's the first paragraph on the left, your Honour, and for your Honour's assistance I'll repeat it:

    "Liberia's President Charles Ghankay Taylor is sure that 'some powerful countries' are out to get him but he does not want to name them 'because they punish you the more if you do.' Yet the names are all over in the streets of Liberia, USA and Britain. One freelance photographer told me letting the names roll off his tongue like sweet apple."

    Can we go over the page, please?

    Second paragraph on the left:

    "The problem has been compounded by the rebel war which is now in its fourth year. President Taylor firmly believes the war is the work of the powerful countries he would not name. Interestingly, the rebels first struck in August 1999, three weeks after the United Nations that supervised the demobilisation of Taylor's former NPFL fighters, and the public burning of their guns. Now the war is three years old and still going on."

    Pausing there, it will be recalled that we provided ample documentary proof of the disarmament process in Liberia and the destruction of the arms which took place, and your Honours will also be aware of the coincidental timing of the first LURD attack with that destruction.

    Before we leave this document, though, can I invite your Honours' attention to the next page? And I begin with the fourth paragraph to the left of that page, please.

    "Next month, July, will be three years since we have been engulfed in a renewed state of crisis, where terrorists continue to attack us from neighbouring countries, fully financed and equipped by powerful states. I'm using powerful states here because I don't want to get into calling of names because each time you present them face to face with the facts, they punish you even the more. So little countries are frightened even when they do wrong to you, you are frightened to talk about their wrongs."

    Skip a line. "It's not, but that's the reality of the world now. It's like when powerful nations begin to plant propaganda, lies and disinformation about you. Every other little country begins to scramble for cover because you become a target, and so you are left out there, hard and dry, to suffer. It is very terrible. Even against the point where the United Nations, that you hope you could go to for mediation and solace, becomes your whipping rod."

    Now, we have suggested and we can leave that exhibit now, from the very outset that this Prosecution, and I repeat it despite Mr Koumjian's comments this morning, is politically motivated. Now, almost a decade after that interview, we say the truth has emerged. In December of last year, The Guardian Newspaper in London published two code cables, one from the US ambassador to Monrovia. Could we look, please, behind divider 2? It's exhibit D-481.

    We see that this is a code cable from Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and we see the date is the 10th of March 2009. I do not intend to read all of this. But if we look at the paragraph numbered 1 on that page, beginning about halfway down the page:

    "Should Taylor be acquitted in The Hague or given a light sentence, his return to Liberia could tip the balance in a fragile peace. The international community must consider steps, should Taylor not be sent to prison for a long time. We should look at the possibility of trying Taylor in the United States."

    Can we now go to the penultimate paragraph on that page, please, numbered 6? And I'm beginning, I'm taking up the narrative about halfway through that paragraph.

    "Taylor remains popular within many rural communities, especially in Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties, and is seen as someone who is able to unite Liberia's different ethnic groups. We also suspect there is some sympathy within the Americo-Liberian population who saw him as their deliverance from their losses following the 1979 coup. While we do not suggest they would want Taylor to return, we are sure that they do not - they do not want too many rocks to be turned over."

    Now, can I pause there for a moment? And we need really to examine the full import of this. Remember, as was repeated by Mr Koumjian this morning, one of the reasons why this Prosecution adduced so much evidence as to what happened in Liberia, and you will recall mention of an individual who was tortured and we are told taken before Mr Taylor in Liberia, all evidence of his intent to terrorise the civilian population, an intent which he carried over into Sierra Leone. Now, hold on a minute. If this man had been terrorising the civilian population of Liberia, how is it that the US ambassador can now be saying he still remains popular within many rural communities? The very communities he was supposed to have terrorised? How is that? And let us pause for a moment now and go to paragraph 405 of the Prosecution's closing brief. This is at page 202 of the Prosecution's corrected final brief. Do your Honours have it?

    "The evidence shows the terror tactics utilised by the RUF and NPFL forces in Sierra Leone had been used by Taylor in Liberia. Liberia laid the groundwork for the perpetration of the indictment crimes in Sierra Leone. Taylor's tactics in Liberia demonstrate his willingness to employ terror to achieve his aims and from this evidence his intent to commit the indictment crimes can be inferred."

    I ask that your Honours please, kindly, when looking at that paragraph, bear in mind the words of the US ambassador as recently as 2009. I ask that your Honours please, when considering this allegation of terrorism, bear in mind this, what we say, is an important paragraph.

    Can I return now, please, to exhibit D-481?

    Can we go to the second page of that document, please? And I'm looking at the paragraph numbered 8. And I'm picking this up now on the third line of that paragraph.

    "To be sure, the disarmament of the factions following the CPA has been extremely successful, and we have thus far been unable to confirm the existence of any large weapons caches, despite the persistent rumours, but the reintegration of the ex-combatants is far from complete."

    I apologise for jumping around in this way but can I now invite your Honours' attention to paragraph 210, please, of the Prosecution's closing brief, which your Honours will find at page 109? Yes. Sorry, 108.

    "During his presidency, Taylor also received arms and ammunition through concessionaries such as Leonid Minin, of Exotic and Tropical Timber Enterprises, aka ETTE, and Guus Kouwenhoven of Oriental Timber Company, aka OTC. And as he never truly disarmed the NPFL, contrary to the lies he told the Court, Taylor also had use of those hidden materials. This was a disarmament that did not happen, leaving the NPFL and other factions with caches of arms and ammunition. Even the programme for the destruction of the material that was turned in was described as a mess. Taylor also had the use of material he was able to induce ex-ULIMO fighters to hand over, either to him or the RUF, AFRC/RUF forces in Sierra Leone."

    So let's contrast and compare, shall we? He never truly disarmed, lies he told in court, this was a disarmament that did not happen. Now, we look at what the US ambassador is saying: "The disarmament of the factions following the CPA had been extremely successful."

    Which of those two are we to believe?

    Can we now go, please, to paragraph 10 in exhibit 481? Yes. It's the second page. Paragraph 11:

    "The threat of the return of Taylor strengthens their hand and for now they see no need to give in at all. However, if Taylor is put away for a long time, the government may feel a bit bolder in recovering assets and bringing Taylor backers who committed war crimes to justice."

    Paragraph 13, please: "However, the best we can do for Liberia is to see to it that Taylor is put away for a long time. And we cannot delay for the results of the present trial to consider next steps. All legal options should be studied to ensure that Taylor cannot return to destabilise Liberia. Building a case in the United States against Taylor for financial crimes such as wire fraud would probably be the best route. There may be other options, such as applying the new law criminalising the use of child soldiers or terrorism statutes."

    Now, this, we submit, should be a matter of concern for anyone truly interested in justice, because that paragraph suggests that this is not a trial at all, but the abuse of legal forms to achieve a predetermined end: The conviction of the accused and his incarceration for a long time.

    Now, we submit, bearing that paragraph in mind, the tribunals which are but an instrument of diplomacy in the hands of powerful states are, in fact, not administering law at all but, instead, providing spurious cover for their paymasters, thereby prostituting the legal process.

  • Mr Griffiths, what tribunals are you referring to?

  • Any tribunal, Madam President.

  • Are you suggesting that the judges are in the pay of some government?

  • I have never suggested that. I am speaking from the vantage point of that man on the Clapham omnibus, that phrase much used in English common law, the independent observer looking on from the outside, recalling, of course, that justice should not only be done, it should be seen to be done, and that is why we are addressing these concerns. But in any event, Madam President, as highlighted by Mr Koumjian this morning, we have dealt with these issues in the opening paragraphs of our closing brief, and so consequently do not see the need to repeat all of those arguments here, because we submit that they've been comprehensively set out in our closing brief.

    But returning to our theme, Madam President, which is that this Prosecution is political, we also submit, so far as this Prosecution is concerned, that they have acted dishonestly in paying witnesses, some of them extravagantly, out of a fund obtained by the first Chief Prosecutor, David Crane, from the Government of the United States. No similar fund was ever provided or requested by the Defence, and despite repeated requests by a number of bodies, the Prosecution have never come clean as to how these monies were acquired and, indeed, how they were spent. Again, we will deal with that issue and have dealt with it in our final brief, and I anticipate that Mr Munyard tomorrow will be turning to it in a little bit more detail, so I'm merely highlighting that fact now.

    Now, having introduced my topic, Madam President, can I now turn to the evidence in this case?

    We have never denied that serious crimes were committed in Sierra Leone. We've never denied that. And neither were those crimes committed solely by the RUF, the AFRC or indeed the CDF. I would like us to remind ourselves, please, of a clip from a film shown in closed session, so it's confidential, taken from exhibit D-5A.

  • Are we going do view it, Mr Griffiths? And do we have to do it in closed session in the light of what I said.

  • Very well. That's why I mentioned the fact, Madam President.

  • This is a part that must be seen in closed session. You know what you're showing. We do not.

  • Well, the whole exhibit is confidential, Madam President. Although the film from which it's taken is available for public consumption. But in any event, out of an excess of caution, bearing in mind the rules, it seems to us that it ought to be played in closed session.

  • Madam Court Manager, please put the Court in closed session.

    I think a private session would be appropriate. I know we have been referring in our exchange to closed.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, page 49399, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Thank you. Please proceed.

  • Now it's quite clear, Madam President, that those terrorising that individual in the clip were ECOMOG soldiers. And is it to be said that ECOMOG weren't also intending terror when they went into Sierra Leone? And indeed perhaps Liberia? Again, what springs to mind is the idea of selective prosecution.

    Now, as I say, we have never, and still do not, deny that grievous crimes were committed in Sierra Leone. From the start, the sole issue boiled down to: Does Charles Taylor bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed in that country? That is the sole issue in our submission.

    And we say that it remains the sole issue despite various distractions. First of all, the fact that for much of his cross-examination, something like two-thirds of his cross-examination, Mr Taylor wasn't asked about events in Sierra Leone. I'm sure it did not escape your Honours' attention that for the most part his cross-examination concentrated on events in Liberia. We say that is a total distraction.

    Likewise, there was an even greater distraction, although it attracted the greatest publicity, and that is the appearance of Naomi Campbell, her agent, and also Mia Farrow. Why that evidence was called I'm still at a loss because the question is: How does a gift of diamonds to a beautiful woman, diamonds being of course a girl's best friend, in South Africa, link Charles Taylor to the purchase of arms which, on one floated theory, arrived in Magburaka at some later stage in 1997? I don't see it. In our submission, the calling of Naomi Campbell was a complete disaster for the Prosecution. My learned friend, Ms Hollis, was left looking at a bleeding hole in her foot and a smoking gun in her hand asking, "I didn't know it was loaded." Because they ended up, first of all, seeking to impeach their own witness, then when that didn't work, trying to abandon her. Oh, she's not a Prosecution witness after all. Well, who obtained a subpoena to call her? Why was she called by the Prosecution if she is not a Prosecution witness? But in any event, that we say was a total distraction.

    Turning now to another topic. Despite spending four and a half years in preparation, a further 13 months in presenting their case, and calling some 30 or so linkage witnesses, it is somewhat surprising that there is very little direct evidence to link the accused to the crimes alleged. For the most part, this Prosecution's attempt to link the accused to the alleged crimes has largely focused on hearsay, circumstantial evidence and broad assumptions. There were very few examples of direct personal knowledge of the accused commanding or assisting the RUF or the AFRC. One exception was Alimamy Bobson Sesay, upon whose testimony much reliance was placed by your Honours at the time of our rule 98 submissions. What I would like you to bear in mind when assessing his testimony what Mr Munyard will have to say tomorrow morning about his credibility.

    Now, this glaring deficiency in the Prosecution case, this absence of direct proof, is reflected in their final brief, on more than one occasion. But let me give you an example. Can we turn, please, to paragraph 214 in the Prosecution's final brief?

    I'm not going to read out the whole of that paragraph. Can we begin, please, five lines from the bottom?

    "In addition, it is reasonable to conclude that Taylor was able to bribe ECOMOG to allow or facilitate the movement of material through whatever checkpoints ECOMOG had been able to establish, given that his NPFL had been able to bribe ECOMOG to sell material to it and that ECOMOG had also apparently sold or bartered other supplies as well."

    Now, "reasonable to conclude"? Now, I can't really recall any evidence, in our submission, from which such a conclusion could be reached. This is where we say the Prosecution are making assumptions in the absence of proof. That in effect, put bluntly, when no proof is available, let's make it up.

    Because we submit that in their final brief, rather than point you judges to their evidence, they are asking you repeatedly to draw far-fetched inferences. For example, on the critical issue of joint criminal enterprise, we submit that's what they are doing. Now, this absence of proof, in our submission, had been noted as long ago as June 2000, by an independent individual who was in a position to know. Now, in their final submissions to your Honour, the Prosecution have sought to malign the United Nations Secretary-General's representative in Liberia. They have in effect claimed that Mr Taylor co-opted the representative of the Secretary-General very early on. And he, Mr Felix Downes-Thomas, in effect, became Mr Taylor's agent and his mouthpiece to the United Nations. Because of this relationship, Downes-Thomas gave Mr Taylor these code cables which were internal cables for the United Nations. On none of these cables, they assert, was Mr Taylor named as a recipient or as someone who should legitimately have access to them.

    Now, one can understand why this Prosecution are concerned to malign Mr Felix Downes-Thomas in this way because many of the code cables he provided, provide inconvenient proof for the theory they have been floating from the outset. Let us examine why this Prosecution would seek to impugn this evidence, but perhaps I should pause and make a distinction. It's one thing impugning Downes-Thomas. It's another thing to try and impugn the contents of those code cables. Whatever they might want to say about Downes-Thomas, there we have in black and white contemporaneous documents, made at the time when no one could have anticipated a criminal prosecution. And thus, judges, such evidence, contemporaneous, made without criminal trial in mind, to that kind of evidence should attach a great deal of weight. And that's the kind of evidence we've produced consistently before this Court.

    But I also ought to remind you of some of the history surrounding those code cables, because your Honours will recall that they emerged from Mr Taylor's archives. Now a little history. When way back, it seems such a long time ago now, in the summer of 2007, we came before your Honours to seek an adjournment of these proceedings so that we could get up to speed with the facts, we made mention of the fact, or I did, that I'd recently returned from Liberia where I'd been given a large volume of documentation which had hitherto been in Mr Taylor's archives. That struck fear into the heart of this Prosecution, which is why they went to the extent of filing a wholly unmeritorious motion seeking the disclosure of those Defence documents. Because they knew those archives might well contain potent evidence and that proved to be the case.

    So the point as to how they came to be in Mr Taylor's hands, in our submission, is totally irrelevant. They can malign Felix Downes-Thomas till the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is, what he wrote in those documents cannot be gainsaid. And I bear in mind that some of your Honours come from a common law tradition and you will recall that famous case of Regina v. Sang in the House of Lords, irrespective of the sort of evidence, so long as it's relevant to an issue, it's admissible. So as I say, they can malign him as much as they want. And we need to bear in mind, from what this evidence derives its potency. First of all, it's correspondence between individuals, persons who have no reason not to tell the truth. It's between Downes-Thomas and his bosses in New York or vice versa. They have no motive whatsoever to lie about to each other, none whatsoever. As I've also mentioned, these documents are contemporaneous. They are not created with criminal proceedings in mind. We submit that some of the most powerful evidence admitted in this case is contained in those code cables, coming, as it does, from an untainted, independent source.

    So can I now take your Honours to one such code cable, please? It's exhibit D-255. And, remember, I am drawing your Honours' attention to this document bearing in mind the point we are making about the absence of direct proof. And could we go, please, to page 10 in the top right-hand corner? I'm sorry, Madam Court Manager, could we just go back to the front page so that we can - we can see for ourselves the date of the document. We see that it's dated the 19th of June of 2000. It's from the maligned Downes-Thomas in Monrovia, to Prendergast, his boss in New York. Now let's go to page 10.

    "There is no denial about President Taylor's association with Foday Sankoh and with the RUF. President Taylor himself has gone public, and on record, to confirm that Liberians are involved and actively so in the Sierra Leone crisis. How such a situation developed, as well as its various ramifications has been the subject of communications from UNO to HQ. What appears to be the crucial aspect of this omnibus allegation is that, 1, the Government of Liberia and/or President Taylor currently provides arms, ammunition, training and personnel to the RUF. 2, the Government of Liberia and/or President Taylor, is able to assist in this manner because the RUF supplies illicitly mined diamonds to the Government of Liberia or President Taylor, who not only sells the gems but takes a huge percentage of it for personal and other purposes as such. Thirdly, President Taylor has a vested interest in the continuation of the crisis in Sierra Leone or in the maintenance of a status quo that promises the continuation of one and two above."

    Pause. That in a shut shell is the Prosecution allegation.

    He continues: "The basis and evidence for this crucial aspect of the allegation continues to remain unavailable to UNO. Since headquarters has yet to convey such a basis or knowledge of the evidence, it must be presumed that it also remains unavailable to it."

    So what Mr Downes-Thomas is saying, "Look I'm your man on the ground. I've got no evidence of it. Likewise, you in New York, my boss, with all the resources available to you, you haven't told me about anything like that, so where is the evidence? Where is the beef?"

    "Both the British newspaper, the Guardian, and the American Washington Post have carried stories on this matter and have provided generalised snippets of related information which only whets the appetite but offers nothing truly substantive. It would be most useful for all concerned, as well as for their reputations, to have the basis and evidence for this crucial aspect of the allegation made public. And let the chips fall where they may. One of the major arguments for publicising the evidence is that in so doing the opportunity will be offered to devise ways and means to effectively put an end to the alleged trafficking in a manner that will not visit hardship on innocent citizens."

    So we have this situation, way back in June of 2000, Mr Downes-Thomas is asking the question which over a decade later we still ask on behalf of Charles Taylor: Where is the evidence, the direct proof? Where is it?

    Now, again, in this regard, in opening the case for the Prosecution, we were told by the then chief Prosecutor, Stephen Rapp, and Madam case manager, can I invite our attention behind divider 3, 3B, which is an excerpt from testimony dated the 4th of June 2007. Now, Mr Rapp, way back then, said this, and I pick it up at line 8:

    "In 1988, or 1989, with the military training in North Africa of Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh and other people who later became leaders of the RUF and NPFL, a plan was there formulated by the accused and others to take over political and physical control of Sierra Leone in order to exploit its abundant natural resources and to establish a friendly or subordinate government there to permit, to facilitate, this exploitation. This was part of a larger strategy that included helping others militarily in their respective revolutions to take over their respective countries and the first one was to be Liberia. For that, there was created the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, the NPFL, and then of course there was the RUF, the Revolutionary United Front, created for Sierra Leone. The argument made - the agreement made by the accused and Sankoh was to begin, as I say, in Liberia with the help of Sankoh's forces, and Liberia would then be used as a base from which to move into Sierra Leone with the help of the forces of the accused. As we have indicated many times, access to Sierra Leone's abundant resources was a primary objective, but Sierra Leone would also be a source of manpower."

    I pause there. This was Mr Rapp lucidly setting out what he claims was the plan. Now, first of all, we should note, where was that agreement reached? In Libya. What were the terms of that agreement? The exploitation of Sierra Leone. By what means was that to be achieved? By the creation of two organisations, the NPFL and the RUF. So this, then, should be the golden thread running throughout this Prosecution. So when then we come to look at various stages along the road to this Prosecution, we need to pause on occasions and we will, and ask ourselves how consistent is this piece of evidence with that overall plan? But I mention this opening for this reason. Because, remember, this is the plan which is supposed to underlay not only what happened in Sierra Leone but also what happened in Liberia. It is the foundation-stone of this whole Prosecution, this plan.

    Now, almost four years later, your Honours may have noticed that this plan has been quietly jettisoned from the Prosecution's final brief. I ask you, please, to peruse that document with care, line by line, not missing a definite or an indefinite article, and see where there is mention now, four years later, of that plan, fashioned in Libya which we were told was the foundation of this Prosecution. Now, Mr Anyah will deal in due course with that suggestion made by Mr Rapp in opening in a little more detail. I merely highlight it here.

    And also, can I commend to your Honours paragraph 738 to 979 of our written closing submissions, researched and written by Mr Silas Chekera, which in our submission totally destroys any notion of joint criminal enterprise from an evidential point of view.

    Now, your Honours, can I now mention another aspect of this Prosecution which is still of abiding concern to us? Of the linkage witnesses called, the so-called insider witnesses, and remember some 30 or so were called, 14 gave evidence in either closed session, that is behind closed doors, so that the public cannot see or hear, or with pseudonyms. And even now this morning we had an example of my learned friend, Mr Bangura, being unwilling to mention the name of a protected witness, even the TF1 number of that witness. So that we submit that much of the Prosecution has been.

  • Excuse me, Mr Griffiths, I'm having problems with my Lotus Notes, and I use the notes to underline important submissions, so -

  • I'll pause there, your Honour, until it's fixed.

  • Thank you, Mr Griffiths, please proceed.

  • So as I was saying, so the fact remains that much of the Prosecution's case, the crucial part of its case, has been in large measure shrouded in secrecy. The public will never know the content of that important testimony. It's a matter of some concern.

    Now, let me turn, then, to the factual matrix of this indictment. Now, we do not dwell overlong on the factual background because, again, these are set out fully in our final brief, but we submit that the following factual propositions are true. Firstly, the recruitment of trainees, their training and Camp Naama, Sokoto, and the planning of the invasion of Sierra Leone, was without the accused's knowledge. It was, we submit, the result of a conspiracy between Sankoh and certain senior NPFL officers whom Sankoh met and befriended in Libya. Men such as Sam Tuah, Oliver Varney, Charles Timba, Sam Lahto [phon], Francis Mewon [phon], Dopoe Menkarzon, Anthony Mekunagbe and General Degbon.

    Now, your Honours will recall not many minutes ago I mentioned this golden thread running through the Prosecution's case. Can I pause now to look at what undoubtedly has to be an anomaly in light of that foundational part of the Prosecution case? Camp Naama. Why did not one single Prosecution witness claim to have met Charles Taylor at Camp Naama? Not one. There is no evidence before this case that Charles Taylor ever set foot in Camp Naama and met any RUF trainees. The question has to be why not? He is the godfather, to quote Mr Koumjian. He's the God father. Even a godfather meets his foot soldiers. So why not Charles Taylor? Bearing in mind that design fashioned way back in Libya. Surely, as the overall commander, this is his proxy army, he'd want to pop along now and then to find out how they are getting on. How have they taken to the training? Are they properly being trained in the arts of terrorism? Why didn't he turn up to find out?

    And likewise, where is the evidence of any of agents, like Mr Mongor, going back to report to him? Guess what, chief? This is what's going on down in Camp Naama. Why not? He has to be in strategic control. It's basic military understanding that you need to be on the ground to see what's going on. So why isn't he there?

    A second question your Honours might want to ask yourself is this: Bearing in mind, of course, the golden thread, going to take over Liberia then we are going to do the same in Sierra Leone, why were the RUF training separately from the NPFL? Every witness who has come to this Court has told your Honours that there was a division between the RUF trainees and the NPFL trainees. They are in different parts of the camp and never the twain shall meet. Why? Because this design established in Libya, surely the overall commander, Charles Taylor, would want to coordinate the training. It makes strategic and tactical sense, from a military point of view. So why are they being trained separately? It just does not make sense. It doesn't add up.

    A third question: Why were the RUF recruits at Camp Naama not properly supplied with arms? There is ample evidence that only certain members of the RUF at Camp Naama had access to AK-47s. The vast majority of the recruits only saw them when it came to being taught how to dismantle and use them. For the most part they were carrying sticks. So why was Taylor doing that? If it's part of this overall design, one would have thought they would be properly supplied. Not only with arms but also with food. And we are told that that too was in short supply. Why? We submit that these are important questions. We submit that these aren't questions which can be conveniently brushed under the carpet and forgotten. They go to the very heart of the Prosecution case, and unless you judges can find an answer to those substantive questions, we submit that the only verdicts that are possible are verdicts of not guilty, because we would have totally undermined an important aspect of the Prosecution case.

    Now, I'm helpfully assisted by Mr Chekera and before it slips my mind, can I correct something if I gave the wrong impression. Sam Tuah and Charles Timba were not trained in Libya.

    Now, the second point that I'd like to make, moving on from Camp Naama - well, not moving on from Camp Naama, but dealing with an aspect of Camp Naama, could I first of all, please, invite your Honours' attention to paragraph 406 of our closing final brief? This, your Honours will find at page - yes - no, sorry, 139, paragraph 405, please. Do your Honours have it?

  • Yes.

  • Now, your Honours will see that at paragraph 405 and 406, 7 and 8, we deal with ideology training at Camp Naama. If I could just give your Honours a moment to cast your eye quickly over that, to get the import of what we are suggesting in those paragraphs. Now the points we are making, Madam President, and it's an important point from our point of view, looking at paragraph 406, and because I am there quoting the words of a protected witness, and your Honours will see from the first line who that person is, bearing in mind the role that person played at Camp Naama, and I was the person who cross-examined that witness, I would have asked him this simple question: Did you teach the recruits at Camp Naama to terrorise the civilian population? What would his answer have been? It would surely have been in the negative. In fact, there is ample evidence, from Issa Sesay, others, there is also a publication before your Honours created by a protected witness, which underlines the fact that amongst the several trainers at Camp Naama, the only person who on any occasion made any suggestion about terrorising the civilian population was Isaac Mongor. And you will recall that, both in that publication and in testimony from Issa Sesay, there is clear evidence that Mr Mongor was ridiculed for having made that suggestion, even though later he himself did put that, what he suggested, into practice. So what is quite clear then is this: Firstly, terrorising the civilian population did not form part of the founding ideology of the RUF. Neither was it being taught as a military tactic at Camp Naama, save for that aberration, Isaac Mongor.

    Secondly, had we known that this was the purpose of the JCE, the stock question this Defence would have asked of every single witness was: Were you taught to terrorise the civilian population of Sierra Leone? Two, did Foday Sankoh tell you to terrorise the civilian population of Sierra Leone? Three, did any other commander, apart from various aberrations like Sam Bockarie, command you and indeed on one occasion, Foday Sankoh, Operation Stop Elections, apart from that instance, routinely order you to terrorise the civilian population?

    Now, it's easy for the Prosecution to point at instances and from that seek to draw some general conclusion, well, we know that they are good at drawing such assumptions. Well, instances did occur but what we are looking for is a pattern of behaviour of some long standing, of some geographical scope, and in our submission, dating from Camp Naama, this theory of terrorism did not form one of the founding principles of the RUF. It didn't. And I say quite bluntly, we have been disadvantaged and prejudiced by not knowing from the outset that that was the supposed purpose of this JCE, as opposed to the other multiple purposes replete in the Prosecution's opening and their case summary.

    Third proposition, moving on from Camp Naama, once ULIMO was formed in Sierra Leone, funded and supported by the Sierra Leonean and Guinean government to fight against the NPFL and deny them the gains of the Liberian revolution, Charles Taylor formed a strategic alliance with the RUF to protect his flank. And this alliance remained in place for just over a year, before Taylor withdrew his support. The support provided during this period was limited. And I will now seek to provide some examples of evidence to show that such support during that period was limited.

    Could I invite your attention, please, to exhibit P-65, Madam Court Manager, behind our divider 4?

    Yes, we have it.

    Your Honour will see P-65 is a document we've seen before. It's dated the 5th of May 1992. And it's from, we see from the seal at the bottom of the page, the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone. It's from Foday Sankoh, we know, written to Charles Taylor.

    "I am thanking you very much for the brotherly help you are rendering me in my liberation struggle." Now, hold on a second. Let's go back to the golden thread. What's he doing talking about this as "my liberation struggle"? It's Taylor's liberation struggle. So how do we explain the effrontery of this underling? Taylor is supposed to be the big boss. The RUF is his private army. How dare Sankoh refer to this struggle as being his?

    Then it goes on, "This struggle itself has reached a crucial and something stage, where I cannot afford to give up. Moreover there is no urgent need to sit and discourse on the current developments in Sierra Leone and also on the deployment of ECOMOG at the borders. These events are crucial and we need to address ourselves to them. I am therefore requesting an audience with you before I leave. I appreciate the five boxes of AK-47 rifle ammunition and the 10 boxes of RPG gun rockets which I should receive from you today. But I've just received a radio message from General that asks - that our men have encircled the Daru Barracks and they are waiting materials to do the final assault. I believe that what you have forwarded is not enough to carry out the operation against Daru. So I'm making, I'm asking you, in the name of the Almighty God, to kindly increase the number of boxes of AK-47 ammunition up to 20 and that of the RPG rockets to 12, plus some Beretta rounds. This will sustain us for some time while awaiting the long term supply that you have promised me. Moreover, it will boost the morale of my fighters who are in top form to advance in" - well, "to advance." I'll leave it at that. The general sense is quite clear.

    And then the last two lines, well, before that he goes on to talk about him not having a vehicle and begging Taylor for a vehicle, and then he concludes in this way: "While anticipating your usual consideration, I would be grateful to you for your continued support in my struggle to liberate my people."

    Now, there are a number of important questions which, in our submission, your Honours should properly ask about this letter. First of all, why is Sankoh writing in such begging terms to someone with whom he made a pact as long ago as Libya to provide mutual assistance to each other? The tone of the letter belies such an agreement. He shouldn't be begging. This is part of a plan. If Taylor has got it and he's wanting to achieve this plan, why is he not providing them with adequate supplies? Because the simple question is this: Given that the joint objective of gaining political control of Sierra Leone is to exploit its abundant natural resources, why hasn't Taylor given him the wherewithal to complete the job in as quick a time as possible, and as effectively as possible? Yet, here we have him begging. Why?

    But I jump forward to come back because it is our submission that consistently, at this time as reflected in the letter, and indeed at any time during the indictment period, whatever materials were going over that border from Liberia to Sierra Leone, was for the most part a trickle. Now, why do I jump forward? I jump forward to 1998, so we are talking about six years after this letter, when the military attache at the US embassy in Monrovia conducted an investigation into alleged Liberian involvement in the Sierra Leone conflict. The accused, Mr Taylor, referred to this and other matters when he made a policy statement on the 29th of December 1998.

    Can I refer your Honours please to exhibit D-141? And to page 292 of that exhibit, which Madam Court Manager, we find behind divider 5. Could we go - we see first of all on the first page, policy statement by the government of the Republic of Liberia on allegations against Liberia for involvement in the Sierra Leone crisis, Monrovia, Liberia, December the 29th, 1998. Let's go to page 293 at the bottom, please. And we are looking at the two middle paragraphs on the left. Thank you, Madam Court Manager.

    "The Liberian government wishes to draw attention to the statement of the United States deputy assistant Secretary of State for Africa, ambassador Vicki Huddleston, that there is no evidence that the Liberian government is involved in aiding the war in Sierra Leone. The government wishes to also point to the results of an independent investigation conducted by Colonel Dempsey, military attache at the US embassy in Monrovia which found no evidence of the alleged involvement of the Liberian government in the Sierra Leonean conflict."

    Now, it's important to bear in mind - can we go back to the first page, please? I ask your Honours to bear in mind two things: Firstly, the source of the two comments to which - referred to in this policy statement. Secondly, the timing. This is the 29th of December. So this is what, just about a week before what, the Freetown invasion. And at that time, this defendant was able to call upon evidence of this nature, from the United States deputy assistant Secretary of State for Africa, and the military attache at the US embassy in Monrovia. A week before the Freetown invasion.

    Now, Mr Taylor referred to this also in his testimony. This was testimony given by Mr Taylor on the 10th of August 2009. It's page 26277 of the trial transcript. Can we pick it up, please, at line 21?

    "Q. And what was the information available to your government then as to United States research regarding the supply of arms?

    A. Well, we had had, at our disposal, a report that had been done jointly by the United States, represented by a situation that came before us here, Colonel Dempsey, along with the United Nations and ECOMOG, that had stated in fact that there was some evidence of a little amount of arms going across the border, but it was not - that it was not an official transaction because it was just the trickle amount of arms going across the border. To see this same arms issue festering" - I'm going over the page - "I mean, we had to raise it here because it just seemed not to go away. I thought it had gone away after a senior army officer representing the American government at the embassy had gone there and had written a report saying, 'Look we haven't seen any evidence of this. The United Nations personnel had gone there and said we see no evidence of this. ECOMOG personnel had been there and said there is no evidence.' So to see this same thing festering and festering, I'm shocked by it."

    So can we pause and take stock as to where we are? 5th of May 1992. Prima facie, Sankoh's begging letter suggests only small amounts of assistance being given, even at that time. 1998, six years later, again, evidence to the same effect. June 2000, the Prendergast code cable, 19th of June 2000 to which I earlier referred, asking, in effect, that if there is the evidence, show it. So we have consistently, throughout this period, 1992, 1998, 2000, documentary evidence suggesting that whatever assistance, whatever was going over that border, wasn't up to the job. So we go back to the golden thread: Why not? That was the design they agreed to, which they became party to, way back in Libya, so why not?

    And one has to, I'm helpfully reminded, compare this untainted evidence, contemporaneous, written without criminal prosecution in mind, most of it - and I leave the Sankoh letter out of it for this purpose - from untainted sources. Compare this evidence to the hearsay upon which for the most part the Prosecution relies. We say the two just do not compare, in terms of value as evidence, as proof of guilt. Because when one looks at that evidence, the same theme is consistently present. It's the same theme. Independent of who was sending it, let's just put Mr Taylor to one side for the moment, whether it was coming from him, whether it was coming from ULIMO, whatever, the same theme consistently: Small amounts.

    Moving on, point number 4: In or about May or June of 1992, Charles Taylor withdrew his support for the RUF. He sent a message and withdrew his men. This is accepted by the Prosecution.

    Can we go, please, to paragraph 84 of the Prosecution's final brief? It's at page 51. "Taylor's forces remained in Sierra Leone, directing and participating in the fighting and the crimes committed against civilians until around June 1992. At that time, after Sankoh had complained about the extent of the crimes being committed against civilians by Taylor's fighters and after NPFL and RUF brother fought brother, the accused became angry and withdrew most of them."

    So we are - both parties appear to be ad idem on that facts. They were withdrawn in or about June of 1992.

    Now, the weight of the evidence we have heard is to this effect: That after that withdrawal, the NPFL fighters, having taken the bulk of the weaponry and ammunition, the RUF were left bereft of the wherewithal to prosecute the war and were pushed almost to extinction by the NPRC government aided by the mercenary group, Executive Outcomes, who had been brought in in return for diamond concessions. Furthermore, at or about the same time, ULIMO was increasing its grip on the Sierra Leone/Liberia border until towards the end of 1992, the beginning of 1993, the border was completely in their hands and was to remain so until, we would submit, the general elections in Liberia in June 1997. Why do we submit that?

    It has to be recalled that the highest ranking member of the Taylor government who came to give evidence was none other than the Vice-President, Moses Blah. Now, I'm grateful to Mr Blah for assisting us with this: Although we say in one major respect he is a liar, that he only found out about his elevation to the presidency of the country on the day, he just happens to turn up at the Executive Mansion, suited and booted, and all of a sudden Taylor has a word in his ear, guess what Moses, you're going to be made President today. What utter nonsense. But in any event, let's have a look at what he had to say about the closure of the border. It's the testimony of Moses Blah dated the 19th of May 2008. Page 10191 of the transcript, line 26 on that page, please.

    "Q. Now, it is at around this time, specifically in June 1991, that a completely different player appears on the scene, ULIMO, that is right, isn't it?

    A. Yes, ULIMO."

    Over the page:

    "Q. Standing for United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia?

    A. You are correct.

    Q. And they came out of Sierra Leone, didn't they?

    A. You are correct.

    Q. Who supported them?

    A. Roosevelt Johnson.

    Q. Who provided them with arms and ammunition to invade Liberia?

    A. They were joined by ECOMOG.

    Q. No, no, no. Which country provided the support for ULIMO?

    A. Yes, I have got you now. It was Sierra Leone.

    Q. So just so we understand the picture, in June 1991, while there was this uneasy truce in Liberia, the Sierra Leonean government, the neighbouring state, funded a group to invade Liberia, that is right, isn't it?

    A. You are correct.

    Q. Now, ULIMO immediately decided to attack the NPFL, didn't it?

    A. You are correct.

    Q. And there were fierce battles between ULIMO and the NPFL, particularly in Lofa County?

    A. You are correct.

    Q. Now that fighting with ULIMO continued for some considerable period of time, didn't it?

    A. You are correct.

    Q. And effectively it resulted in ULIMO gaining large portions of the western region bordering Sierra Leone?

    A. You are correct."

    Over the page, please.

    "Q. Now the ULIMO forces former President was mostly made up of former Doe supporters and ex-army, Liberian army soldiers isn't that right?

    A. You are correct.

    Q. Now, one consequence of ULIMO's offensive was to effectively cut off the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia, that is right, isn't it?

    A. You are correct.

    Q. And the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia was effectively controlled by ULIMO from 1992 until the elections in June 1997, that is right, isn't it?

    A. You are correct. You are correct."

    That's Moses Blah, Vice-President of Liberia, consequently someone who was in a position to know, if ever there was an insider witness, that was him, and yet that's what that star Prosecution witness told this Court.

    Now, what we do know is this. What we do know is this. I'm told that I wrongly suggested that the elections were in June 1997. They were in July 1997. I think at an earlier stage, Madam President, and I just want to correct that for the record's sake.

    I don't know where the transcript reference is, but if I could just say it for the record.

    Now, so, there is a lot for us to pause and digest here. There is the withdrawal of the NPFL. There is the closure of the border by ULIMO. Now, so far as the withdrawal of the NPFL, it is quite clear that Corporal Foday Sankoh was upset and bitter at Charles Taylor as a result of this. And it's possible to postulate one or two reasons why Foday Sankoh might feel that way. And we mention this in light again of that golden thread. Now, one, you could understand him being bitter. You're not giving me a great deal of support, and I'm having to beg you. You can understand him being bitter, two, look how your NPFL soldiers have behaved in my country in relation to my revolution. And then, three, you can understand him being bitter because you've withdrawn all your support, left us with insufficient means to protect ourselves, and look what's happened to us now. We've had to go into the jungle, to create those jungles. So if we look at that critical point when the NPFL withdraw on Taylor's instructions and the border is closed, if we look at it from the vantage point of a Foday Sankoh, one could easily conclude that this was not a man who was very happy with Charles Taylor.

    And we would submit that there is clear evidence to the effect that Foday Sankoh remained bitter against Charles Taylor as a result.

    Now, Madam President, could I give your Honours a page reference? This is evidence given by a protected witness, and so we cannot display the transcripts publicly, but I think it would be helpful to your Honours if we could - perhaps we would need to go into a private session in order to deal with this matter.

  • Are you going to be reading extracts, Mr Griffiths?

  • In that case, I think - let me consult.

    Yes, in the circumstances, we will put the Court in private session. For those members of the public, you will be able to see but not hear what is happening and this is for the protection of a witness.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 49424 to 49426, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Now, your Honours, what can we properly conclude from the evidence we've just considered? What does that withdrawal, what does that testimony we have just referred to tell us about what had happened to the relationship between Taylor and Sankoh in or about June of 1992 at the time of the withdrawal? It tells us that the golden thread was broken. It tells us that the JCE, allegedly created in Libya, had come to an end. That's what it tells us.

    If any such JCE had been formed, that is.

    And we submit that thereafter, following that breach, Sankoh and Taylor did not have any contact again until August 1999, after the signing of the Lome agreement.

    In our submission, from those years, 1992 or so, down to 1999, August, there is no evidence of Taylor and Sankoh meeting. I appreciate that the Prosecution would have this Court believe that there was radio contact between the two during that intervening period. We submit that is a lie. We submit there was no such radio or telephonic contact during that period. We submit there was a breach in or about June of 1999 - 1992, which was never healed. That was the end of any contact between the two.

    How can we test that proposition? I ask your Honours to consider this: We know that sometime in or about 1996, Sankoh went to Cote d'Ivoire, to borrow a phrase from Mr Koumjian, look at a map. Cote d'Ivoire shares a fairly lengthy border with Liberia. Now, you would have thought, given the golden thread, what should Mr Sankoh do once he gets to the safety of Cote d'Ivoire? He no longer has ULIMO to block him from going to see his boss. You'd expect him to nip over the border, hey boss, we are in difficulties back in Sierra Leone, you know. RUF are in jungles, NPRC governments has given us a hard time, what can you do to help?

    We know at no stage during that period spent by Sankoh in Cote d'Ivoire did he cross the border and enter Liberia. There is no evidence. And the obvious question is: Why not? We know he was travelling to other places because, guess where he got arrested? Nigeria. Why is he going to Nigeria when his boss is just next door? Why? In our submission, this absence of contact over a significant period is significant. It is inexplicable given the nature of the Prosecution's case. So from the start of the indictment period, the two main co-conspirators, going back to Libya, don't have any contact, even when they have the opportunity. Why not? And in that context, can I mention something to which I will return as I promised this afternoon? During that period, why is he writing to Mohammed Talibi in Accra rather than to Taylor? Why not? And, remember, he's got his writer in Cote d'Ivoire because we know who wrote the Mohammed Talibi letters so he's got his scribe there. Whilst he's getting his scribe to write off to Mohammed Talibi, why doesn't he say to him, "Drop a line to our friend Charlie over the border?" Why not? Why not? This is totally inexplicable given the nature of this allegation. It just does not make sense. It's another of those instances where we say, unless credible answers can be given to those questions, then the Prosecution have a problem in reaching that high standard of satisfying you so that you are sure, otherwise known as proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Can't happen.

    Proposition number 5. Once the NPFL had been withdrawn, Foday Sankoh was undoubtedly in straitened circumstances and he was forced as a result to change the tactics of the RUF. We know that it was at or about this time that the decision was made to resort to jungle warfare, surviving on captured weapons. We've had much evidence of that. Also we know that it was during this period, the salute reports which have been placed before this Court consistently record contact being made with ULIMO. At whose suggestion? Not Charles Taylor. At Sankoh's suggestion. Using money given to Bockarie by Sankoh to trade with ULIMO. There are repeated references to that.

    And so that's how the RUF were surviving.

    Madam President, I note the time and sadly for a brief moment, we have to go again into private session to refer to some testimony.

  • There seems to be about a minute or two left. Will you be able to do it in that short time, Mr Griffiths?

  • I can't do it in that short time.

  • Well, in the circumstances it might be more practical to take the lunchtime adjournment now and recommence with that private session. We will now adjourn to 2.30. Please adjourn the Court.

  • [Proceedings adjourned for lunch at 1.30 p.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 2.30 p.m.]

  • Mr Griffiths, please proceed.

  • May it please your Honour, before we adjourned, I was dealing with our fifth proposition, describing the straitened conditions in which Foday Sankoh found himself following the breach between he and Charles Taylor.

    And on that topic, had noted that at that critical stage, because of a lack of the wherewithal to pursue the war, Sankoh was forced to change tactics and adopt jungle warfare, and the RUF were surviving on captured weapons, weapons traded for farm produce in Guinea, and also at Foday Sankoh - note Foday Sankoh's - suggestion, trading with ULIMO.

    Now, on this critical issue, the condition of the RUF at this point, we are greatly assisted by some testimony given by a protected witness, and you will recall, Madam President, that I inquired whether we could have a brief private session just before the luncheon adjournment. So could we deal with that topic now?

  • For purposes of the public and record, we are going to have a private session. That means to members of the public will be able to see but not able to hear what is going on. This is for the security and protection of a witness.

    Madam Court Manager, if you could please put the Court into private session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 49431 to 49433, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Now, at this point, at this point of weakness, when the RUF were at a low ebb, the more intelligent members of the movement realised by 1995 that the movement had reached a stalemate and decided to bring their message to the wider international community. An external delegation was formed which based itself in the Ivory Coast. In due course, Foday Sankoh was to leave his jungle stronghold, Camp Zogoda, and join them. The Government of the Ivory Coast assisted the delegation with housing, subsistence, and communication, all of which, when later provided by the Liberian government to the RUF, in order to assist the peace process in Sierra Leone, is condemned by the Prosecution as damning evidence of Taylor's control of that movement. Yet, there had been this precedent set by the Government of Cote d'Ivoire. Yet no complaint is made of that by the Prosecution. Only when Charles Taylor, the demon, does the same in Liberia does it attract the kind of opprobrium we've heard in this Court. Meanwhile, the external delegation negotiated a peace settlement, the Abidjan Accord, signed on the 30th of November 1996, the beginning of the indictment period. Now, it's clear that Sankoh was not committed to this agreement, for even whilst he was negotiating, he was seeking assistance from the Libyans to carry on the war. Now, at this point I wonder if we are in a position to put a document up on the screen.

    Well, let me set the context of the document we are going to look at. Your Honours will recall.

  • In the meantime, please tell us what it is so we can attempt to find alternative ways.

  • Okay. I will do. Your Honour, it is exhibit D-15. Do your Honours have that document?

  • We will in a few moments but you can proceed with the background.

  • Yes. The background is this. We know that following the signing of the Abidjan Peace Accord, Sankoh supposedly for the purpose of, in effect, selling the agreement to the troops on the ground, was allowed to return to Sierra Leone by helicopter and visited a couple of the jungles which had been set up in the interim period. We all recall that evidence.

    Now, unknown to those who were providing Sankoh with that assistance, and it goes again to demonstrate the extent of Sankoh's duplicity because I want your Honours to be clear. I am not here to defend Foday Sankoh, and it's clear from much of the evidence we've heard that man was capable of great deceit, even with members of his own movement. That is a fact. That is established by the evidence. And it's in that context, then, that I invite your attention to this exhibit. Do your Honours now have it?

  • Yes.

  • Now, your Honours will see it's a handwritten letter headed, "Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone," and it's dated the 26th of June 1996. We see that it's from the leader, Foday S Sankoh. Now, let's just pause again there for a moment. Now, remember the Prosecution theory, Taylor is the boss of the RUF. So why Sankoh here in this letter styling himself as the leader? But in any event, let's put that to one side. We see that this is a letter addressed to brother Mohammed Talibi, Libyan Arab People's Jamahiriya, Accra, Ghana, subject, follow-up request.

    "I want to thank you and the other brothers back home again, very much, for the half million United States dollars which I received through you for the purchase of needed material to pursue the military mission. However, I wish to let you all be informed that my business partners for these materials are here with me and we have had extensive discussions on this subject. Attached to this letter you will find a list of materials, arms and ammunition, and their costs for your serious and urgent attention. I now need one and a half million United States dollars in order to purchase twice the listed materials for effective and smooth operation."

    He then goes on to mention that he's sending someone in order to further explain, and then over the page, please:

    "The airlifting of these materials through our controlled territory will be done before any payment for this mission is done by me. This is why I am urgently appealing to you and the other brothers back home for your usual cooperation in providing this time the one and a half million United States dollars to be at hand with me so that my business partners and my representatives can proceed for these materials very quickly for fast and smooth operation."

    Let's just put this letter, because we consider this to be of some significance, in its context, its proper context. This is June 1996. So it's five months before the signing of the Abidjan Peace Accord. It means, then, that whilst the negotiations were going on, this duplicitous man was making other plans. And it's quite clear that Sankoh had no intention to abide by the terms of the Abidjan Peace Accord, and we have to ask in due course and will, whether, in fact, he had any intention of abiding by the terms of the Lome agreement.

    Secondly, why is there no mention of Taylor in this letter? Recalling, of course, that golden thread, fashioned in Libya, including among its operatives, Gaddafi, a person who will have to loosen the purse strings for this one and a half million, and Burkina Faso. So why no mention of the other pillar of that triumvirate, Charles Taylor, why not?

    Thirdly, who are these business representatives? Now, remember the theory is Taylor is there to provide for the RUF's needs, so who are these unidentified business representatives? It means, then, of course, that Sankoh and hence the RUF had access through other sources, other than Charles Taylor, to obtaining war materials. That is clear. And when we come in due course to think about the Magburaka shipment, which we will, and also the shipment which came into Sierra Leone at the back end of 1998, we need to bear this important point in mind: Sankoh had his own sources. It is a fact.

    Now, you will recall, Madam President, your Honours, that there was a second Mohammed Talibi letter. That is exhibit P-272. And Madam Court Manager, I hope that everything is up and running now. Are we still experiencing difficulties?

  • Your Honour, the problem had been rectified, but I seem to be experiencing grave problems with my computer again.

  • Very well, can we adopt the same procedure as the last time, then, your Honours?

  • I think we have it here, Mr Griffiths.

  • I'm grateful. It's exhibit P-272. And, again, we would submit that this is an exhibit which bears fruitful, detailed analysis. Again, we see it's a handwritten letter dated the 4th of December. Pause there. 4th of December would be just after the signing of the Abidjan Peace Accord, and as we will see in due course, it's after Sankoh had made the helicopter trip to Sierra Leone. It's from - and remember, this we were told, this letter was written in the Cote d'Ivoire, and I've already mentioned the absence of any suggestion or evidence that whilst in the Cote d'Ivoire Sankoh met with Taylor. We then see this. It's from Corporal Foday Sankoh, leader of the RUF SL Abidjan, La Cote d'Ivoire, to brother Mohammed Talibi, People's Bureau of Libyan Arab People's Jamahiriya, Accra, Ghana. Subject: Urgent information.

    "I received the $29,000 United States through Mr Daniel Kallon."

    Pause. In our final brief, we have set out the important and critical role played by this Daniel Kallon and his wife, Isatu Kallon, Mamie I. We see here mention of him and we would submit confirmation of his role, because let's just pause and think about it for a moment. If you're Foday Sankoh, you would really have to trust someone to allow them to take safe passage of $29,000 US. That gives us a reflection of what - how important the role was played by this Daniel Kallon, "for which I am really very grateful to you and the other brothers back home. We have signed the peace accord on November the 29th, 1996, just so as to relieve our movement of the enormous pressure from the international community while I will use this opportunity to transact my business in getting our fighting materials freely and easily."

    I've mentioned the use of that word "my" before. We see it here repeated. Why? But more than that, remember, round about this time, late 1996, the RUF were under serious pressure. Camp Zogoda having fallen, and so on and so forth.

    "I have already finished negotiations with my business partners" - there we have that reference again - "my business partners. And I have so far paid $300,000 US. Our agreement is that they should receive $700,000 US from me in Sierra Leone upon their arrival with the material into my controlled territory."

    I pause again. Now, where did that $300,000 US paid by Sankoh come from? Bearing in mind, I repeat myself, he's just over the border from Charles Taylor, so where did it come from? And hold on a minute. Why have we not heard from a single witness about Charles Taylor handing over what in these terms is an enormous sum to Foday Sankoh whilst he's in Cote d'Ivoire? Why not? Why is there this absence of proof on such a critical matter?

    But it continues: "The total cost of the material is $2 million US. The balance amount will be paid when the operation is completed. I am therefore asking you and your brothers to urgently provide the needed $700,000 US so that I will be in a position to live up to my commitment to my business partners who will be coming very soon with these materials -- coming very soon with these materials. As I have always learned from you people, there is some money with the Burkinabe government, for the provision of our needed materials, but as you might have known by now, that government have really not shown any keen interest in assisting us as a movement."

    Pause again. That's another prong of the triumvirate, Blaise Compaore in Burkina Faso. And remember, this is an aspect of the golden thread. So what is Sankoh doing saying this? "They really have not shown any keen interest in assisting us as a movement. I even had conversation with Commandant Diendere these few days but with no positive results. I would therefore suggest that you prepare a letter for me to meet President Compaore on this issue, as we never received anything from them, and even my delegates at Ouagadougou have returned ever since to my location here. Please advise on this issue."

    Pause again. What Sankoh is saying there is, I'm going to approach Blaise Compaore for assistance, but hold on a minute, why not approach your main benefactor, Charles Taylor? Why is there no mention at this point in the letter, and also, guess what, I'm going to go to Charles Taylor as well and see what assistance he can provide to us? No mention of it. Nothing whatsoever. Why?

    "When I went in last week" - now, this is a reference to the helicopter trip - "when I went in last week I was able to organise serious mining operations in precious minerals which I believe will help us to generate the needed foreign exchange for our mission."

    Now, recall evidence to the effect that in the early part of the invasion of Sierra Leone, Foday Sankoh was dead against the idea of the RUF being involved in diamond mining. There is evidence before this Court of diamonds being captured but the evidence, the preponderance of the evidence, we would suggest, is to the effect that organised diamond mining within the RUF took place after this date. So this is December 1996.

    And on that note, why is he saying, "When I went in last week, I was able to organise serious mining operations"? Why isn't he saying, "Well, my brother, Charles Taylor, has already been involved in diamond mining and so I've decided, given his lead, given that, I have to look to Charles Taylor in Liberia as the blueprint for everything I do. Why doesn't he say in the letter, well my brother Charles Taylor has been involved in diamond mining before, and I'm just getting involved now myself? Why not?

    "For now, I am highly in need of this US $700,000 in order to go in and be waiting for the arrival of my business partners. Please help me in this great hour of need and I promise not to let you down." And then he gives the name of someone, "who will give you the rest of my message. My best regards to you and your family."

    Now, I said to your Honours that this letter is of some significance. What it shows is this: At the - sometimes towards the end of 1996, Foday Sankoh, on behalf of the RUF, was busy seeking funding from the Libyans to finalise the purchase of a large quantity of arms. It would appear on the face of these two letters that he was doing it independently of Charles Taylor, using his own business contacts.

    Now, recall that between nine to perhaps 11 months later, what happens? We have the Magburaka shipment. And remember the evidence from Issa Sesay that that shipment had been organised by Foday Sankoh before his arrest, and it had been waiting in Burkina Faso, the country named in the letter, to be delivered. Do you remember that evidence? Now, putting all of that together, who purchased the arms which arrive in Magburaka? Who did? I'm going to come back to that shipment later but we would submit, clearly on the face of these two letters, Foday Sankoh was engineering this for himself without any assistance, without any collaboration from Charles Taylor.

    Now, before I leave this particular topic, unfortunately, Madam President, I'm just going to have to inconvenience the public gallery for a very short time, some evidence from a protected witness which I think would be best given in private session. It's a fairly short passage. It shouldn't last more than three to four minutes.

  • Again, for the information of the public and for record, we are again going into a very brief private session to adduce evidence of a protected witness. This is for the security and protection of a witness.

    Madam Court Officer, please put the Court in private session.

  • [At this point in the proceedings, a portion of the transcript, pages 49443 to 49444, was extracted and sealed under separate cover, as the proceeding was heard in private session.]

  • [Open session]

  • Your Honour, we are in open session.

  • Now, moving on, Madam President, and this is my sixth proposition, the RUF were to stay in the jungle until the AFRC coup on the 25th of May 1997.

    We submit that there can be no credible suggestion that Charles Taylor had a hand in the coup, nor that the former members of the Sierra Leonean army, who had in the early 1990s been fighting against the NPFL, that suddenly, on them taking power, they decided to become Charles Taylor's lackeys, because, remember, that's the theory: Taylor rose from commanding just the RUF to also commanding the AFRC. Just thinking about the logic, the psychology, of it, that this was a coup engineered by former members of the SLA, who had seen their comrades killed in combat with Liberians, and then all of a sudden now, they are going to appoint Charles Taylor their leader. It's nonsense.

    Because let us just remind ourselves of some of the evidence promoted by this Prosecution in order to support this theory. Do you remember that evidence, that shortly after the AFRC coup, Charles Taylor's telephone number was sent to Johnny Paul Koroma and they were busy speaking to each other over the phone? This at a time, 25th of May 1997, remember, let's just jump across the border for a minute and consider what's happening in Liberia at the time of the coup. Taylor is in the middle of fighting an election. After fighting an almost ten-year bloody civil war, power is almost in his grasp. You can imagine the amount of electioneering he would have been involved in at that time. The difficulties of traversing a Liberia where the infrastructure had been virtually destroyed and having to campaign in such circumstances, and, yet, according to this body of evidence, at this time, when he's not even President, without access to the armouries of Liberia, he's busy on the phone to Johnny Paul Koroma giving him orders, running the AFRC. That's why we do not apologise for saying this is nonsense. And staying on the same topic, staying on the same topic, I don't refer your Honours to the particular document but I'm sure your Honours will recall it. You will recall the begging letter sent by Johnny Paul Koroma, as leader of the AFRC, in the autumn of 1997 to Charles Taylor. Two things. Why send the letter when you can telephone him? You've got his number. So why write that letter? Bearing in mind, of course, if you, Charles Taylor, the man who the Prosecution claim plays one game with his colleagues in ECOWAS, plays another game behind closed doors, such a man, you would have thought, if he's involved in this nefarious connection, that's better conducted by phone, by radio, rather than putting in down on paper in black and white. Why the letter from Johnny Paul Koroma?

    And on the same topic, point number 3. Why the delegation sent to Liberia by the AFRC? Why? And Taylor didn't even bother to see them. And one can understand why not, given what steps were being taken by ECOMOG at that time to unseat that government. And let's just pause for a minute. Forget the evidence and just think about the politics of that moment. This is autumn 1997, he's just come to power. Shortly after he's put on the Committee of Five, an elevation, is he really going to jeopardise that? Can you understand now why in those circumstances, newly admitted to the Presidents' club, why would he want to jeopardise that by meeting with this delegation from Johnny Paul Koroma. Sometimes we need to step outside the confines of the courtroom and inject into it the reality of the real world in order to properly understand the testimony being placed before this tribunal.

    Now, equally what is clear is that the AFRC/RUF alliance was fractious from the very beginning. Now, the Prosecution alleges that that alliance was strategic in that the AFRC needed the RUF for its connections to Taylor, as well as to help ward off ECOMOG and Kamajor attacks. That argument, in our submission, deliberately overlooks a number of important factors, which would otherwise falsify that claim.

    First, when the AFRC came to power and immediately called on the RUF to join in forming a government, they had not yet faced any military resistance from either ECOMOG or the Kamajors. According to TF1-597, the Prosecution's main witness on AFRC affairs, the AFRC called the RUF within a week or so of the coup. So that's in late May, early June, 1997. Taylor is not president yet. Secondly, Taylor, as I suggest, only became president more than two months later. And we would submit that there is no credible evidence of any contact between Taylor and the AFRC at or about the time of the coup or, indeed, thereafter. Because the reality is this: The AFRC coup was an unplanned act by disgruntled members of the Sierra Leonean army, who felt that their President, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, was sidelining them in favour of the CDF. That's the reality. And it was they, the AFRC, who called on the RUF to join the government in order to foster peace, and no doubt, thereby gain a spurious legitimacy for their regime.

    Again, pause to understand the politics. You're Johnny Paul Koroma, you've just overthrown a democratically elected President. You want recognition from the world because you're suffering from an arms embargo. What would be one of the preconditions for that kind of recognition? If I can establish peace in Sierra Leone. It adds a greater legitimacy to my regime. So one can understand, without the intervention of a Charles Taylor, why a Johnny Paul Koroma in that circumstance, for purely political reasons, would want to establish this alliance. He had much to gain and much to lose from a continuation of hostilities.

    And the Prosecution also claim, I think at paragraph 440, that after the two groups came together, they functioned effectively as a team. Now, we address that in our final brief, but the fact is there was no effective functioning of that alliance. From the beginning, that marriage was fractious and clearly heading for divorce. Because you will recall that it was said that Bockarie at one time described the marriage, and I quote, "As the marriage of uneven and unequal partners." That's in exhibit D-9.

    Indeed, as Prosecution witness TF1-568 confirmed, in cross-examination, it was natural that the AFRC and the RUF, as former enemies, and I quote, "There must arise a power struggle among us." So it would appear from the testimony of that witness that he too knew that this marriage was doomed.

    Even TF1-274, who throughout his testimony in chief endeavoured to fill the many gaps in the theory of the Prosecution case, when pushed in cross-examination admitted that the relations between the RUF and the AFRC had not been perfectly cordial during the time of the junta government. Indeed, rather than functioning effectively and cordially, there is overwhelming evidence that the RUF was largely marginalised. Furthermore, there is even evidence of serious tension between the two groups. There is, for instance, overwhelming evidence across the Prosecution/Defence divide, of a plot instigated by Foday Sankoh for Gibril Massaquoi and Steve Bio to overthrow Johnny Paul Koroma and take charge of the AFRC. So there is a whole body of evidence here which points to the nature of that relationship. Why have I spent a little time dealing with that? Firstly, because Taylor is alleged to have assumed, in some mysterious way, control of the AFRC. How he managed it is yet to be explained. Point number 2, however, is this: Bearing in mind this concept of superior responsibility, how is Taylor, from Monrovia, going to coordinate the activities of such a fractious relationship? Surely that is relevant to that mode of liability. How is he going to do it, when one hand isn't listening to the other in this alliance? How is he going to do it? Now, the fact is that this coup ushered in the most violent phase of the civil war in Sierra Leone. The 18 month or so period from the AFRC coup up until the Freetown invasion was the high point of the violence in Sierra Leone, culminating, as I've mentioned, in the notorious Freetown invasion. Those 18 months are, in effect, the crux of this Prosecution. That's what this case is about. This was the period when the signature atrocity of the Sierra Leone conflict really brought the horrors of this war to the eyes of the international community. Yes, I agree, there is evidence of amputations before then, as in Operation Stop Election. But the preponderance of the evidence is that grave offence really took off and really attracted attention during that 18-month period.

    And I pause to make this point: It will be noted that amputation was never a feature of the conflict in Liberia. Yet, remember, and I say it again, the Prosecution case is Liberia, Taylor and the NPFL provided the template for the activities of the RUF. So why didn't amputations become a part of the backdrop to the blood-letting in that country? Why not? And why did Charles Taylor suddenly decide, Oh, well I'm not going to let the NPFL amputate here but you guys over the border, I want you to go off, and you know, cut off a few limbs? This is nonsense.

    Now, I'm not going to go into the detail of the events during that 18-month period because we submit that they are adequately covered in our final closing brief. But I would end by saying this, this particular chapter: From the period from January 1999 onwards, the focus, in terms of violence, shifts to Liberia, with the emergence in 1999 of LURD, later MODEL and clear attempts by outside powers to oust Taylor. Now, we are not going to go into the history of that period in any great detail because we submit it is a distraction at one level and we want to concentrate on what is important, that is the indictment. Because after the Freetown invasion, speaking in broad terms, what's happening in Sierra Leone of note? We have demobilisation, disarmament, proceeding unevenly but proceeding nonetheless, made possible by the commitment of that young man serving 50-odd years in custody in a prison in Rwanda, now convicted of serious crimes, even though at the time many important people in the sub-region were commending him, that young man, for what he had done, Issa Sesay, to bring about peace in Sierra Leone.

    But in any event, the only issues in reality in Sierra Leone which your Honours will have to consider in that period after the Freetown invasion is the capture of the UNAMSIL peacekeepers, of the peacekeepers by the RUF, and also the road to Lome. I mention that again briefly in due course but not a great deal is happening, we would submit, in Sierra Leone after that point, save for that abiding issue about diamond mining and diamonds going over the border channeled through Charles Taylor. You will have noted, Madam President, that I've said very little to date about diamonds, and, frankly, I don't intend to say much. What I would invite your Honours to do is take a little time to examine that report prepared by the Belgian authorities about diamonds. In our submission, it will - you will benefit from careful perusal of that document because what in our submission it clearly shows, particularly when allied with the Mohammed Talibi letters, particularly allied with - do you remember the Charles letter about the Belgian man called Charles? When we put all of that together, the picture which emerges is, yes, the RUF were involved in diamond mining, yes, there was smuggling out of Sierra Leone, yes, it was going through Monrovia, but it always been thus, even before the war, because Liberia then used US dollars for currency and from way back in time, Monrovia being the route.

    Think about another practical thing. If you're the RUF and you're mining diamonds up in Kono, how do you get them out of the country? You can't go through Lungi airport, a bit difficult that. So how are you going to get them out the country? And so, yes, diamonds might have been going through Monrovia but we submit the only concrete, independent evidence, which is available suggests that this was being done independently, either independent - they were doing it independently of Charles Taylor, and bear in mind, of course, we accept it couldn't have been going on without the complicity of certain people in his government. Couldn't have.

    But what we ask your Honours to examine is how credible is that evidence which suggests that he was the conduit and beneficiary of that - of that behaviour.

    Before I move from that topic, can I make one point? And it's this: In the indictment, the Prosecution does not make the allegation of pillage in relation to diamonds under the charge of pillage. They don't. It is limited to the civilian population. In our submission, that is a matter of some importance. So we have - so we have, then, traversed the key phases of the conflict in Sierra Leone.

    Now, I promised that I would return to the Magburaka shipment. And I do. Now, Madam President, we would submit that this passage in our closing brief rewards careful analysis. It begins at paragraph 594 of our closing brief. And can I just deal with the matter in this way with some bullet points?

    Point number 1: Where did the Magburaka shipment come from? Was it Burkina Faso? That's the evidence of TF1-597. Was it the Ukraine? TF1-338. Was it South Africa? The footnote from that book in ECOMOG put to Mr Taylor in cross-examination linked to the Naomi Campbell evidence. And according to that footnote, the arms came from South Africa by boat, landed in the free port in Monrovia. So which of those are we to accept? Burkina Faso, Ukraine, South Africa? Which is right? Let's ask another question. How was the shipment paid for? One witness, TF1-597, it was paid for with diamonds. Note the plural, diamonds. Because another witness, TF1-371, said that it was paid for with a 90-carat diamond and $90,000 from the Bank of Sierra Leone. Issa Sesay then said a third version, that it was paid for with $90,000 from the Bank of Sierra Leone. Again, which is right? And before we leave that topic of how it was paid for, remember, according to the Prosecution, Taylor's in possession of the diamonds in South Africa.

    I apologise. Issa Sesay said the 90,000 was to pay for the transport, the shipment having already paid for - been paid for by Foday Sankoh. And I remind your Honours of the Mohammed Talibi letters.

    A third area of inconsistency: Who facilitated this? According to TF1-597, there was a conversation between Johnny Paul Koroma and Taylor about arms, following which a delegation, which included Bockarie and Ibrahim Bah, went to Liberia. Two weeks later, a plane arrived at Magburaka. That's version 1.

    Version 2: TF1-371. Ibrahim Bah had come from Taylor to help the junta obtain arms, and he requested the junta raise a 90-carat diamond for the arms and 90,000 for the flight. Johnny Paul Koroma handed diamonds and money to Bockarie who passed them on to Bah. Bah went to Monrovia, then came back on the shipment flight.

    Version number 3: TF1-334. Fonti Kanu had gone ahead to facilitate it.

    Version number 5 - 4: Issa Sesay testified that Johnny Paul Koroma gave 90,000 to Ibrahim Bah to went with Fonti Kanu and one Arnold Bangura. Koroma paid for the flight and Sankoh paid for the shipment with the money he had received from Libya.

    There is a fourth area of inconsistency regarding this shipment: Who went to pick it up?

    TF1-597 testified that he was present along with Fonti Kanu, TF1-371 and a Burkinabe soldier called Musa were on board the flight. TF1-338 gives us a different version. He went with Issa Sesay and Morris Kallon. TF1-371 gives us a third account, that he, Morris Kallon, and SO Williams went to Magburaka to pick it up. TF1-334 gives yet another account. He went with SO Williams and Akim Turay as well as Fonti Kanu. We then have Issa Sesay's account. He went with SO Williams, to Magburaka by helicopter, and Fonti Kanu and Ibrahim Bah were on the plane.

    Again, and perhaps I've laboured this point too much and torn a passion to tatters but, again, there are inconsistencies as to when this shipment comes - came in. There are also inconsistencies about what the shipment included. It's all set out in our final brief. But the point is this: A criminal trial is not a lucky dip. It's not a question of throwing inconsistent pieces of evidence before your Honours and in effect saying, "Take your pick." That's not how it works. And of course, given the length of time which has elapsed between these events and the testimony of witnesses, one would expect such inconsistencies to occur; it is natural and human, but not to this extent. And when evidence is replete with inconsistencies and contradictions like this, there is only one thing to do with it: Throw it in the bin. That is what we submit the Court should do with this body of evidence: Get rid of it. We submit it's garbage.

    Bearing in mind, of course, I'm helpfully reminded that Issa Sesay's version as to the source and the form of payment, that is, by Foday Sankoh, was confirmed by Isaac Mongor in a prior statement which he tried to disown when he arrived at this Court to give evidence, and also bear in mind that Issa Sesay's version appears on the face of it to be confirmed by those two Mohammed Talibi letters. So if your Honours are not minded to accept my invitation to get rid of this garbage, then your Honours might want to consider whose account does the independent evidence support? We submit the account it supports is that of Issa Sesay. And we submit that is the account which your Honours should accept.

    Now, before I leave this Magburaka shipment, I really can't avoid responding to a comment made by my learned friend, Mr Koumjian, this morning. How can the RUF, we were asked, contact Burkina Faso? Look at the map. They share no border. Well, funnily enough, airplanes fly over borders. Funnily enough it appears here this an aircraft did fly over the border from Burkina Faso and dropped off this shipment. It's quite clear. We also recall evidence of efforts to build an airstrip in Buedu. And bear this in mind before I finally depart this topic: If, as we submit, bearing in mind the Mohammed Talibi letter, and the other evidence in support, if it is the case that Foday Sankoh arranged and paid for that shipment, what it means is this: A precedent had been set, for the events of December 1998, when quite clearly following a visit by Bockarie to Blaise Compaore, a further shipment came in. Sankoh set the precedent. He was the one who made the contacts, we submit through Ibrahim Bah, who was not sent by Charles Taylor, and that was the precedent.

    And in reality, the evidence appears to confirm that only two large shipments of arms ever entered Liberia - Sierra Leone during the indictment period. Magburaka and December 1998. Now we can all understand why despite the internally and externally contradictory nature of the evidence surrounding Magburaka, the Prosecution have still stuck by their guns. They can't afford to do otherwise. Because if the general evidence is that it's only a trickle going across the border, and I don't repeat that point, they need this. It is vital to their concept of the case, which is why they have struggled uphill from day one to try and establish the unestablishable.

    So there I conclude my submissions regarding the various phases of the war in Sierra Leone.

    Now I want to move to another related but slightly different topic. Following Sankoh's arrest in March 1997 in Nigeria, Bockarie became the acting leader of the RUF on the ground in Sierra Leone. The Prosecution case is that from the beginning, Bockarie was Taylor's boy. Furthermore, the Prosecution alleged - alleged - that there had been no break in communication between Sankoh and Taylor but, rather, there had been a seamless and continuous relationship from the outset. This blatant attempt to rewrite history in order to force the facts to fit their theory cannot, we submit, be countenanced by this Court. No theory can be a substitute for the reality of events.

    There is a document to which I will come in a moment which, in our submission, completely cuts away the ground upon which that assertion is based. But before I come to that, let me say this: Your Honours, the evidence is quite clear, Sam Bockarie was at times an evil and vicious man who carried out some very inhumane actions, such as the massacre in Kailahun. A number of witnesses called by both Prosecution and Defence have described him in the most unflattering terms. Of course, some of those witnesses had good cause to feel that way about him, and to an extent, Issa Sesay. Imagine being kept in a hole in the ground or living in a goat shed for months, after the sacrifices you had made in order to bring about the Abidjan Peace Accord. And you know who I'm talking about. Imagine that. And then to be treated in that way. How do you think such a witness would feel about his captor? The man responsible for that treatment over so many months, how would they feel? So there is a level at which we need to exercise some caution when we approach the evidence of those witnesses. They don't come to the topic of Bockarie with completely clean hands, because there is a hinterland of pain and suffering which might well be colouring their testimony in this Court. So we need to bear that in mind.

    But what is the document I'm talking about, which in our submission cuts the ground away from under this assertion of seamless contact between the RUF and - between the RUF and the - and Mr Taylor? And even Mr Taylor's appointment of Bockarie as leader, following a phone call from Foday Sankoh? I'm not going to go into the detail of that. Remember all the business about you must now take orders from the man over the border? I'm not going to go into that. But let's just have a look at a document. It's exhibit D-7. And Madam Court Manager, it's behind divider 11. Do we have it? We do, I'm grateful.

    It's the Tiagen Wantee letter to which my learned friend Mr Koumjian referred this morning. I'm sure it's my fault but I still have difficulty understanding the point that Mr Koumjian was seeking to make. Now, the only way the Prosecution can get around the significance and importance of this letter is to say it's a forgery. They haven't made that suggestion but it's the only way they can explain it. Now, do you recall Mr Koumjian drawing your Honours attention to a meeting of ECOWAS leaders in July 1998, attended by Mr Taylor, referred to in the presidential papers? So let's just get the sequence. Taylor attends that meeting in July. This letter arrives in August 1998 from the Liberian ambassador in Guinea.

    "One Major Eddie P Kanneh, former secretary of state of the defunct military junta RUF of Sierra Leone on August 81998 called on me and provides some confidential information, that they were doing everything possible to overthrow President Charles Ghankay Taylor. He emphasised his strong desire of meeting with the Liberian leader in order to have him informed about the situation."

    Then goes on to give his mobile number.

    "He then requested the issuance of a Liberian travel document to facilitate his travel to Monrovia, which we considered illegal until proper contacts and proper arrangements were made with the appropriate authorities. Meanwhile Major Kanneh, who remains a strong advocate of the RUF Junta forces, reiterated his plan of travelling to Liberia along with six other members of his organisation and would cross into Sierra Leone to join their men after his meeting with the Liberian leader. He named one Mr Side Janneh and Brigadier Bockarie, both Sierra Leonean nationals, including one Mr Sherif, assistant director of Special Security Service of Liberia, as contact persons in the country."

    Now, the spin that Mr Koumjian is trying to put on this is this: That that last sentence means Bockarie was already in Liberia. Does that make sense? I'm sorry, I'm sure I'm missing something here. But does that make sense? In our submission, it does not.

    Now, Madam President, there are a number of questions we must ask in light of this letter. If there had been this seamless, continuous communication between Sankoh and Taylor, between Sankoh and Bockarie, why would Eddie Kanneh have to use this circuitous route to get in touch with Charles Taylor? Hold on a minute: Wasn't Taylor supposed to be in regular radio contact with his minions across the border? Wasn't Taylor supposed to be the controlling influence of the AFRC? So why is Major Kanneh, who remains a strong advocate of the RUF junta, why does he have to go to these lengths to meet Taylor? It doesn't make sense.

    Further, mention is made of Varmuyan Sherif, assistant director of the Special Security Service. Now, remember, Mr Sherif is, apart from Moses Blah, the former Vice-President, the most senior member of the Liberian state apparatus to be called by the Prosecution to give evidence. Interestingly, a former general in ULIMO, guess who had been selling arms to the RUF? Oh, dear. It's ULIMO. As is supported by a number of entries in those salute reports. And it is the same Varmuyan Sherif who is being mentioned here. Let's look at it from the other side of the border for a moment now. Given what Mr Sherif said was going on, he was regularly transporting arms over the border to the RUF, again, why does Eddie Kanneh have to write this letter? Look what Varmuyan Sherif's role is. What would be the easiest way of facilitating this? Walk up the steps in the Executive Mansion, go to see Mr Taylor, and say, "Eddie Kanneh wants to come in." It's as simple as that, so why do we need this letter?

    Now, remember also the Prosecution claim that Taylor had been in contact with Bockarie from the previous year, 1997. So if that be right, again, I'm sounding like a stuck record now, why do we need this letter? Bockarie could facilitate it. Again, Taylor has been in telephone contact with Johnny Paul Koroma right from the outset, we are told. If that's right, why do we need the letter? In our submission, that's the significance of this letter, and that is why the Prosecution felt the need, the keenly felt need, to try and deal with it, and in our submission, Mr Koumjian has singularly failed to provide any adequate or acceptable answer.

    Now, Mr Taylor accepts that he received this letter and that he did make contact with Bockarie. He gave evidence that he met with Bockarie in the autumn of 1998 for the first time. I don't go into the details of that because Mr Koumjian dealt with it this morning as to the number, frequency and so on, of the meetings. I am sure that your Honours have all of that evidence well in mind. But interestingly this: At the time that these meetings with Bockarie were taking place, there is an interesting code cable. Yes, could we put up, please, D-170? Do we have it?

  • Not yet, Mr Griffiths, but just give us a moment. Oh, it's come on the screen now.

  • I'm grateful. Page 1, 15th of October 1998, at or about the time of contact with Bockarie by Charles Taylor, following the letter so we get the sequence, ECOWAS meeting July; Tiagen Wantee letter, 12 August; meeting Bockarie, this is now 15th of October so we are in the same time frame. Paragraph 3, bottom of that paragraph: "He maintained that it was inconceivable that the President would address and dispatch 5,000 fighters to Sierra Leone in the presence of the press."

    Let's go to page 3, please. And this is the observation of Felix Downes-Thomas, the maligned Mr Thomas, way back in 1998 when an indictment wasn't even a twinkle in Mr Crane's eye. Paragraph 6, "It does not seem that the immediate preoccupations of President Taylor would permit him to engage at this time in the type of reckless adventurism which the allegations from Sierra Leone suggest. As he himself observed, since the defence of Sierra Leone is being guaranteed by ECOMOG, it would be foolhardy on his part to even contemplate sending troops into Sierra Leone that would in effect be fighting against ECOWAS, Nigeria, Guinea and Ghana, especially just before the forthcoming ECOWAS summit when he would be seeking support for the lifting of the arms embargo on Liberia."

    And if we look at the first sentence at paragraph 8, and remember this is his opinion, "In the light of the above, it does not surprise us that President Taylor is extremely confident that the various forms of fact-finding missions that he's proposing would prove his contentions right."

    Again, Madam President, let's look at the politics of this. Taylor is busy trying to get the arms embargo in Liberia lifted. And yet we are being told that at the same time, he's playing this double game. He's supplying arms to the RUF over the border, massing a force of 5,000 fighters to go into Sierra Leone. Is that the activities of a man? Because let's be frank, men like him, when they get to power, like to keep hold of it. And in order to keep hold of it, you need to act politic. You need to take into account the consequences of your actions. What was his primary goal here? To get the embargo lifted. Would he be behaving in this time period in the way submitted by the Prosecution? We submit it doesn't make sense. Because we submit that the context of that code cable is logical and totally in tune with the situation inherited by Taylor upon his ascendancy to the presidency, a ruined country, broken infrastructure, mass unemployment, an empty treasury, and an army of footloose young men whose only experience for the last decade or so had been war, wandering the country, looking for the next fight. In a country whose borders are porous so that when a Liberian appears in Sierra Leone, Charles Taylor must have sent him. Look at this in the context of the time. What was there for these young men to do, these demobbed members of the NPFL, unemployed, perhaps even unemployable?

    In any event, in late 1998, as we know, we have the incidents leading up to the Freetown invasion. Mr Munyard will deal with that in more detail tomorrow morning. However, we have another important document to place before your Honours for your Honours' immediate attention before we leave this topic. This document is dated the 5th of February 1999. So it is immediately after the Freetown invasion. It is written by a senior UN official, and interestingly, it's not written by MM Downes-Thomas, the MM standing for the much-maligned Downes-Thomas. It's written by someone even senior to him. Could we look, please, at exhibit D-182? Behind divider 13.

    Do we have it?

  • Yes, thank you.

  • Your Honours will see from page 1 of the document that this is not from Downes-Thomas. He's just been copied in. It's from Miyet of the United Nations in New York. Now, I don't know whether in due course it's going to be suggested that Miyet was another agent of Mr Taylor. I know not. But event, Mr Miyet sets out some rather inconvenient truths for the Prosecution here. Putting the passage that I want to draw your attention to in context, look at paragraph 2 on that page.

    "The initiatives you have taken in conceiving the five-point plan and securing support for it among the leaders of the sub-region are highly commendable. You have kept the United Nations at the centre of the diplomatic process while helping to avert a split amongst the members of ECOWAS. We fully concur in all your actions."

    Why do I mention that? The UN are at the centre. So one would expect them to know what they are talking about. Over the page, please.

    "You may wish to make the following points. Bullet point number 4, in the case of Liberia, the United Nations, though aware of allegations of Government of Liberia involvement with the rebels, have no direct evidence of such involvement. The United Nations welcomes reports that the Liberian senate is considering investigating allegations of Government of Liberia involvement. The United Nations would also welcome the exercise of any influence President Charles Taylor could bring to bear on the rebels to reach an accommodation with the Government of Sierra Leone, including a ceasefire which would permit the delivery of humanitarian assistance and provide a basis for further discussions in his 9th of July 1998 report."

    Last two lines: "The United Nations would welcome further face to face meetings between President Taylor and President Kabbah."

    Now, when Mr Taylor turns around and says, "I was asked by the Committee of Five to be the point person on peace in Sierra Leone," that is pooh-poohed by the Prosecution. No, you weren't. And even if you were, you were playing a double game. Seems according to this that it wasn't just the ECOWAS Committee of Five which was making that request. The United Nations were also asking him to get involved, why? To bring about peace. An inconvenient truth. And help us. Look at the date. This is a month after the Freetown invasion. 5th of February 1999. Why is the United Nations, who were at the centre of diplomatic efforts to bring about peace saying, yes, there are allegations but no direct evidence? Why not? Hold on a second. You would have thought that at least one local foreign minister or president might have had a word in the ear of the UN representative, "You might not know, you know, but we know, Taylor was the one behind the Freetown invasion." How come he's saying this a month later? It doesn't make sense.

    Now, Mr Taylor's role in the facilitation of the talks in Lome are amply supported by documentary proof, and I invite your Honours' attention, I don't refer to it because I note the time, exhibit D-193A, 193G, 193J, and 193K. They document the movement of RUF representatives through Monrovia for airlifting to Lome, and the other steps taken by Mr Taylor to facilitate that process. Because we say that ever since he became President, Charles Taylor had been asked to get involved in resolving the conflict in Sierra Leone, and he did so because it was in his own interest. The development of Liberia could not take place whilst the conflict was still raging in Sierra Leone. Now, the Prosecution have sought to gainsay his good intention. He was playing a double game. His role was to get the best deal for the RUF at Lome. He, Charles Taylor, single handedly, in the company of all those other West African Presidents, he managed to get the best deal for the RUF, pulling the wool over everybody else's eyes. You will recall the cross-examination about the Lome agreement. Didn't you, Mr Taylor, set out to get the best deal for the RUF? Remember it? How did he manage that? We've seen the photographs. They are sitting in a bedroom in Lome, all of them, with Foday Sankoh there. How did Taylor pull that one off with all the eyes focused on him? How did he manage it? This man is a magician. And yet, interestingly, whereas he's there securing the best deal for the RUF, guess what? He doesn't manage to include his other proxy in Sierra Leone, the AFRC. They weren't represented in Lome, which is why they kicked off in Okra hills. They had been sidelined. So why didn't he involve them as well, if he's in control? Does it make sense?

    And, you know, this whole idea that Taylor has changed tack - sorry, this whole idea that Taylor was playing a double game, one game in public, one game in private, look carefully. This wasn't how this Prosecution was originally put. They were forced to run this double-game argument because of what? Documentary proof, inconvenient documentary proof. That's why.

    And I don't even mention, because again I'm looking at the clock, the various minutes of the meetings from ECOWAS leaders. We ask you, Mr Taylor, to get directly involved. It's all there in the minutes. However, by December 1999, peace in Sierra Leone was threatened and a decision was made to extract Sam Bockarie, the main threat to peace. Now, the Prosecution sought to insinuate, initially, that this was further proof of Charles Taylor's control of Bockarie, his boy. They were obviously unaware of the proof we would be able to place before this Court, divider 14, please, Madam Court Manager, exhibit D-228. Do we have it?

  • Yes.

  • This is dated the 22nd of December 1999. Third line, paragraph 1: "Talks between President Taylor and Obasanjo during President Obasanjo's stopover at the Roberts International Airport on Monday, the 21st of December 1999, the minister indicated that the talks centred on the question of the implementation of the Lome Peace Accord in Sierra Leone.

    First bullet point under the subheading Sierra Leone: "On the issue of the peace process in Sierra Leone, President Taylor informed his guest that he had been engaged in resolving the problem between Foday Sankoh and Sam Bockarie. It was his assessment that Sam Bockarie was defying the orders of the leader of his movement."

    Skip a couple of lines: Arrangements should be made to ensure that Sam Bockarie and his immediate followers stay out of Sierra Leone until the end of the disarmament process. He therefore appealed to President Obasanjo and other leaders in the region to assist this country in meeting this challenge. President Obasanjo welcomed President Taylor's initiative and promised to approach other colleagues in the region so as to solicit their support for such a worthy project.

    Over the page, please. Last paragraph on the page: "The minister underscored the risks that Liberia was taking by according Sam Bockarie and his immediate followers some sort of temporary asylum. He noted the decision was reached primarily because it would not be possible to solve the problem by merely granting temporary asylum to Bockarie alone as one of his officers in the field could assume the role of a field commander. In any case, the plan is to ensure that he lives in Monrovia and not in the hinterland, so that the government can keep an eye on his movements."

    Does that look like something that was being done clandestinely. Is it not clear that Mr Taylor was speaking to other leaders about the movement of Bockarie? Is it not clear that the United Nations were perfectly aware that Bockarie was to be moved to Monrovia? Where in this is there evidence to support the thesis that this is further evidence of Taylor's control? Where?

    Now, I am coming close to conclude but before I do, I say this: We say the documents we have highlighted provide a useful road map to the truth. Unless answers can be provided to the many questions raised by these documents, we submit no reasonable tribunal can be satisfied so that they are sure, that is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But there is another aspect to the behaviour of the Prosecution which it would be remiss of me if I did not highlight it.

    I do believe this to be the case, that the Prosecution in this Court is an indivisible entity. So as such, this Prosecution, when acting in the CDF trial, in the AFRC trial, in this trial, have to act and behave consistently, because prosecutors are ministers of justice. It is their job not to go all out for a conviction but to place the relevant evidence before the Court, which is why they have disclosure obligations such as under rule 68. So they need to be consistent. Now, we say they haven't been. Let's take, for example, the shifting theory of JCE. Let's compare the Prosecution's opening statement of the creation of JCE on the 4th of June 2007, at page 282 of the transcript.

    "It was supposed to have begun in Libya. The execution of this plan, and it really begins," I quote Mr Rapp, "as we indicated before 1991, before 1996, in 1988 or 1989 with the military training in north Africa of Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh and other people who later became leaders of the RUF and NPFL. A plan was there formulated by the accused and others to take over political and physical control.

    Do you know what's become of that now? Paragraph 51, page 35 of the Prosecution's brief: "Soon after Foday Sankoh arrived in Libya, he made it clear that he wanted to be recognised as leader of the group of Sierra Leoneans who were there, that he wanted to begin the struggle in Sierra Leone. Foday Sankoh also made clear that his vision, including collaborating from the Liberians and using Liberian territory as a springboard into Sierra Leone. Prior to the invasion of Liberia, Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh formed common cause."

    That's what it's become.

    So that in effect, we submit that the Prosecution have not proved when, where or between whom, either a strategic plan or a tactical plan was formed.

    Now, another matter of concern, and bear in mind I'm talking here about the Prosecution acting consistently. In the Sam Bockarie indictment, dated 2003, implicates Charles Taylor in only two ways: In respect of JCE and through the provision of guidance and direction to Sankoh. Now, the relevant part of that indictment, are paragraphs 19, and I'll come to another paragraph. It reads as follows:

    "Foday Saybana Sankoh was incarcerated and subjected to restrictions on his movement in Nigeria and in Sierra Leone from about March 1997 to about April 1999. During this period, by order of Foday Saybana Sankoh, the accused," that's Sam Bockarie, "directed all RUF operations in Sierra Leone. Also during this time, by virtue of the authority given him by Foday Sankoh, the accused worked directly and in consort with Charles Taylor, also known as Charles Ghankay Macarthur Dankpannah Taylor. In addition, by order of or with the acquiescence of Foday Sankoh, the accused also received," note the words, "guidance and direction from Charles Taylor."

    And then paragraph 24 of that indictment: "At all relevant - at all times relevant to this indictment, the accused, by virtue of his position within and continued affiliation with the RUF, and the authority given him by Foday Sankoh, acted in concert with Charles Ghankay Taylor."

    Paragraph 20. "As battlefield commander, the accused was subordinate in command only to the leader of the RUF, Foday Sankoh, and the leader of the AFRC, Johnny Paul Koroma."

    They are supposed to be consistent, aren't they? And if Taylor was the controlling influence, one would have expected this indivisible Prosecution to consistently state their case. Not so, it would appear.

    I do now come to conclude, Madam President. The fact is a criminal trial is not a beauty contest. We are not asking this Court to like Charles Taylor, no. However, when a fact-finder comes to decide upon evidence it is a useful guide to such a person to consider how you would want another fact-finder to approach the evidence if the situation were different and it was a member of your family, a friend, or a colleague, who was on trial. What standards would you expect such a fact-finder to apply? We submit that this man, however he has been painted in the public, deserves nothing less than that, and we submit that when this indictment is approached in that independent, reasonable, unemotional way, there can only be one verdict on all these counts, and that is a verdict - and those are verdicts of not guilty. Thank you for listening so intently.

  • I recall you mentioned Mr Anyah would be addressing tomorrow; is that correct?

  • Mr Munyard. It's the other way around. Actually, I didn't note that when we resumed that Mr Anyah was not with you.

  • Oh, I failed to mention that. I apologise.

  • If there is no other matters, just pause a moment, please. We will adjourn the Court until tomorrow morning at 9. Thank you. Please adjourn the Court.

  • Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.26 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday, the 10th day of March, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.